WORCESTER, Mass.-Senior Devonte Weems recorded team-highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds but it wasn't enough as the Coast Guard men's basketball team fell to Clark, 71-62, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference match-up on Thursday evening. With the defeat, Coast Guard drops to 5-15 (2-7 NEWMAC) while Clark improves to 12-8 (3-6 NEWMAC) with the victory.
Clark senior Andrew Musler was too much for Coast Guard, finishing with game-highs in both points and rebounds. He scored 23 points in an efficient 8-of-14 effort from the field, knocking down all six of his free throws along the way.
Coast Guard jumped out to the early 4-0 lead but it was to be short-lived as a 17-7 run by Clark over a span of 5:28 to give the Cougars a 17-11 advantage at the 11:46 mark of the first period. The Bears saw eight players get in the scoring column in the first half but their balance wasn't enough as they trailed Clark by a 38-32 margin at the intermission.
The opening minutes of the second half spelled disaster for the Bears as Clark scored 11 of the first 15 points after the break to build an impressive 49-36 lead with 15:06 to play.
Clark took their largest lead of the game at 69-54 with 4:20 to play on a jumper by senior Nicholas DaPrato. Sophomore Ryan McNeil would knock down a three at the other end to give the Bears hope with 4:00 left on the clock.
Sophomore Kevin Alvarez continued his good work off the bench, netting 10 points for his third consecutive double-figure effort. The Bears also got solid contributions from junior Eli Sponseller (8), senior John Benedict (7), and freshman Adrian Chuquillangui (6) as 10 players scored by the game's end.
Benedict helped to lead the battle of the boards with six rebounds but Coast Guard was out-rebounded by a 39-33 margin. Musler paced Clark on the glass, cleaning 16 off the window.
Coast Guard shot 39.6 percent for the game, including hitting on 4-of-17 shots from beyond the arc (23.5 percent) while Clark hit 42.4 percent of their attempts from the field including going 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from deep.
Sophomore Tyler Huffman and DaPrato finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively, for Clark who out-scored Coast Guard on second chance points (16-13), fast break points (6-0). Coast Guard held the edge in points in the paint (30-26), points off turnovers (10-7), and bench points (31-27).
"Our guys fought hard tonight," said Coast Guard head coach Kevin Jaskiewicz. "We just couldn't overcome our cold shooting."
Coast Guard returns to action on Saturday, February 8th when they host MIT at 1:00 pm.