Bears Win Third Straight; Win Key Game at Springfield

Nolan Benson
Nolan Benson

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Noah Baldez and Nolan Benson each had a team-high 17 points leading Coast Guard to a key 79-68 win road win over Springfield in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.

With the win, Coast Guard improves to 13-6 overall and pulls even with Springfield at 4-5 in the NEWMAC. The Pride drop to 7-13 overall.

The Pride had beaten Coast Guard in 19 of the last 20 meetings.

Packy Witkowski added 16 points while Justin Kane added 11 points for the Bears, who have won three straight. Witkowski and Kane each had a team-high six rebounds.

Jake Ross led Springfield with 35 points to go with 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Coast Guard shot 51.7 percent from the field (30-58) and connected on 7 of 19 from behind the arc while Springfield was 25 of 60 from the floor (41.7) and hit 7 of 23 from 3-point range, making just 1 of 10 from downtown in the second half.

Springfield led 25-22 with 7:55 left in the first half before the Bears used a 21-5 spurt to open up a 43-30 lead following a three-point play by Benson with 2:38 left.

The Pride would use a 7-2 spurt to close the half cutting the deficit to 45-37 at the break. Springfield would keep the pressure on to start the second half using a 9-2 spurt cutting the deficit to 47-46 with 17:08 left.

Coast Guard would answer with an 11-4 run taking a 58-50 lead following a 3-pointer by Kane with 13:43 remaining.

The Pride would use a 12-3 spurt to take the lead 62-61 on a 3-pointer by Cam Earl with 7:11 left.

After Witkowski finished inside at 6:24 to give the Bears a 65-64 edge, Springfield would turn the ball over five times in their next eight possessions in a 4:20 span, and Coast Guard took full advantage as they extended their cushion to 75-66. 

The Pride would get no closer than seven points and the Bears made four freebies in the final minute of play to conclude the conference win. 

The Bears are back in action on Saturday when they host WPI in a NEWMAC game at 1:00.

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