NEW LONDON, CONN.--(11/29/11)--Junior Ed Gailor was 10 for 11 from the foul line in the final 2:36 as the Bears made 15 of 16 from the line in that span leading Coast Guard to its fourth straight win, an 85-77 victory over rival Merchant Marine in non-conference game.
Senior Kevin Kerr hit a 3-pointer to give Merchant Marine a 71-70 lead with 2:56 left, but the Bears outscored the Mariners 15-6 the rest of the way, with all their points coming from the foul line.
Gailor made a pair of freebies with 2:36 left to give the Bears the lead for good 72-71.
Sophomore John Benedict made two from the line before sophomore Reed Buck made one-of-two for the Mariners making the score 74-72 with 1:43 left.
Sophomore Kevin Sowers made a pair of free throws with 1:11 left to extend the lead to 76-72.
Following his only miss of the game, Gailor sank seven straight free throws in the final 48 seconds to seal the win as Coast Guard improved to 4-1 on the season.
Junior Greg Marshall led Coast Guard with 20 points while freshman David Anderson registered the second double-double of his career with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Sowers finished with 15 points, four assists and six steals while Gailor had a season-high 14 points off the bench for the Bears.
Buck had a game-high 29 points off the bench to lead Merchant Marine while classmate Zach Karczewski added 17 points. Sophomore Nick Sergio led the Mariners with eight rebounds to go with his seven points.
Coast Guard was red shot in the early stages jumping out to a 16-3 lead with 14:13 left in the first half. The Bears made eight of their first ten shots while the Mariners hit just one of their first ten from the floor.
Merchant Marine used a 14-2 spurt to close the gap to 18-17 with 10:22 left in the first half.
The Bears then responded with a 16-2 spurt to take a 34-19 lead with 5:12 to go in the half. Coast Guard pushed the lead to 21 at 45-24 with 2:06 left, but the Mariners got back in the game by scoring the final ten points of the half to trail 45-34 at the break.
The Mariners stayed hot early in the second half as senior Patrick Farrell's 3-pointer capped a 20-1 Merchant Marine run, going back to the first half, cutting the Bears lead to 46-44 with 17:30 left in the game.
Merchant Marine took its first lead of the game 51-50 when Sergio made one-of-two free throws with 12:46 left.
The teams went back-and-forth with Coast Guard taking a pair of three point leads, both times on 3-pointers by Marshall the last at 65-62 with 5:20 left.
The Mariners took a 68-67 lead on a layup by junior Josh Beck with 4:11 left before Anderson tied the game with one-of-two free throws with 3:51 remaining.
Sowers layup gave the Bears a 70-68 edge with 3:09 left before Kerr's trey gave the Mariners their final lead at 71-70.
Coast Guard shot a season-low 42.4 percent from the floor (28-66) while making five of 17 from 3-point range.
Merchant Marine (2-2) was 28 of 70 (40 percent) from the floor while hitting nine of 28 from behind the arc.
The Mariners outrebounded the Bears 48-43, but Merchant Marine had 16 turnovers while Coast Guard turned it over just nine times in the game.
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