Ward Leads Bears to Season-Opening Win

NEW LONDON, CONN.--(11/16/11)--Sophomore Kaitlin Ward had career-high 23 points leading Coast Guard to a season-opening 69-57 win over Framingham State in the season opener for both teams.

Ward, who also added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, along with four freshmen started for the Bears. Freshman Brittney Zimmerman added 14 points and a game-high six assists while freshman Victoria Gurtler came off the bench and had a double-double finishing with 12 points and ten rebounds.

Framingham State led 8-3 just under five minutes in before the Bears scored eight straight for an 11-8 lead with 12:29 left in the first half. Coast Guard led 30-29 at halftime.

The Rams regained the lead 35-34 on a layup by freshman Nicole Bostic with 15:06 left in the game, that would be the last lead of the game for Framingham.

Coast Guard leading 38-37 used a bucket by Ward and a 3-pointer by freshman Alexi Howland to take a 43-37 lead with 13:03 left.

The Bears led 52-47 with 6:13 left before another 3-pointer by Howland started a 7-0 run by the Bears to ice the game putting Coast Guard up 59-47 with 2:41 left.

Bostic had 11 of her team-high 15 points in the second half for the Rams. Sophomore Kristen Hoffman had 12 points while junior Kia Minor had ten points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Coast Guard shot 38.8 percent from the field (26-67) while making six of 17 from 3-point range and 11 of 13 from the foul line.

Framingham State was 21 of 61 from the floor (34.4 percent) while making just two of 11 from behind the arc. The Rams were 13 of 17 from the charity stripe.

Coast Guard won its season opener for the third straight season.