NEW LONDON, Conn..--Senior Bashir Hudson had game-highs with 24 points and 11 rebounds leading Wheelock to a 71-68 win over Coast Guard in the first round of the Citizens Bank Camel/Cadet Classic at the Coast Guard Academy.
Coast Guard (1-3) will play in the consolation game vs Connecticut College at Conn. College on Saturday at 2 p.m. while Wheelock (1-3) advances to the championship game tomorrow at 4 p.m. against the University of Dallas, 78-64 winners over the Camels in Friday's second game.
Senior Greg Marshall's old fashion 3-point play with 1:55 left in the game tied the score 68-68. Wheelock took the lead for good 69-68 when Hudson sank one-of-two free throws with 1:28 left.
Coast Guard senior Ed Gailor was charged with an offensive foul with 1:07 before Hudson missed a jumper with 45 seconds left giving the ball back to the Bears.
Both teams turned the ball over before Marshall missed a shot with ten seconds left. Hudson made one-of-two free throws again to make the score 70-68 with nine seconds left.
Junior Devonte Weems' jumper to tie the game was no good and sophomore Scott Sobel got the rebound and made one-of-two free throws with one second left to close the scoring as Coast Guard Jimmy Knudsen's full court heave at the buzzer missed.
Coast Guard led by as many as seven in the second half, 45-38 with 14:11 left before Wheelock capped a 12-3 run on 3-pointer by senior Daniel Higgins to take a 50-48 lead.
Sobel finished with 15 points while Higgins had 14 points in the win for the Wildcats.
Wheelock jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the opening minutes before Coast Guard settled down using a 10-4 spurt to tie the game 12-12 with 14:38 left in the first half.
Coast Guard trailed 19-18 with 11:19 left in the opening half, but used a 9-2 run to take a 27-21 lead with 8:13 left before the Bears pushed the to nine, its biggest of the game, 33-24 with 3:01 left in the half.
Marshall led the Bears with 15 points while Weems, playing in his first game of the season because of an injury, finished with 12 points and sophomore Eli Sponseller had a career-high 11 points in the loss.
Wheelock shot 46.2 percent (24-52) while making 9 of 19 from 3-point range while Coast Guard was 28 of 57 from the field (49.1 percent) and hit 2 of 8 from behind the arc.
The Bears outrebounded Wheelock 38-26.
"We played hard, we just have to do a better job on a couple of possessions," said Coast Guard head coach Kevin Jaskiewicz. "You can see the immediate impact of having Devonte back, if we continue to work hard, good things will happen."
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