Merchant Marine Holds Off Bears

KINGS POINT, N.Y.--(2/13/12)--Freshman Alexi Howland had 19 of her career-high 24 points in the second half, but Coast Guard's rally fell short as the Bears lost to Merchant Marine 64-60 in a non-conference game.

Demi VanderWal led the Mariners with a game-high 28 points while Roshenda Josephs added 18 for Merchant Marine which improves to 10-14 overall while the Bears drop to 5-17 on the season.

Coast Guard trailed 31-19 at halftime, but quickly cut the deficit in half 34-28 with 15:30 left in the game. The Bears took their first lead of the game 48-46 on a pair of free throws by freshman Brittney Zimmerman with 6:13 left to cap a 12-5 spurt.

Sophomore Larla Brown hit a pair of free throws with 3:55 left as the Bears took a 52-49 lead, but the Mariners would score eight straight for a 57-52 edge with 1:34 left.

Zimmerman knocked down a three-pointer to make the score 57-55, but Merchant Marine would make seven straight free throws, the final one by VanderWal with 21 seconds left to close the scoring.

Coast Guard shot 45.2 percent in the second half (14-31) and 38.2 percent in the game (21-55) while making five of 14 from behind the arc. Howland was nine of 14 from the floor and four of seven from three-point range to lead the way. Freshman Jamie Waterman led the way with seven rebounds to go with her six points. Sophomore Kaitlin Ward, classmate Larla Brown and Zimmerman each added eight points for the Bears.

Merchant Marine scored the first 10 points of the game in the opening four minutes before Coast Guard responded with an 11-3 spurt, six points by Ward, to cut the deficit to 13-11 with 11:12 left in the half.

The Mariners answered with a 10-2 run to push the lead back to 10 at 23-13 with 7:56 left in the first half and they led 31-19 at halftime. Merchant Marine shot 52.2 percent in the first half (12-23) while the Bears were just seven of 24 (29.2 percent) in the opening stanza.

Coast Guard leads the Superintendent's Trophy race 5-4 in the 2011-12 season with four more events to go in the Spring season. The next event is a three-game series in baseball beginning March 3rd in Fort Myers, Fla.

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