NEW LONDON, Conn.-Junior Kaitlin Ward came up big on both ends of the floor in leading Coast Guard to a hard-fought 53-38 win over visiting Springfield College in a New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference women's basketball match-up.
With the win, Coast Guard improves to 5-7 (3-4 in NEWMAC play) while Springfield falls to 2-11 (0-7 in NEWMAC play). The Coast Guard victory snaps a nine game losing streak at the hands of Springfield, a streak that dates back to the 2008 season.
For the game Ward recorded nine points, a season-high nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while also serving as a calming influence when things got tight, in both the first and second halves. Junior Larla Brown and freshman Victoria Sutherland paced very balanced Coast Guard attack with 10 points apiece. Additionally, freshman Andrea Barrameda scored seven with Jamie Waterman chipping in six.
After Springfield cut the Coast Guard lead to 41-34 with just 6:23 remaining, sophomore Dani Knox, who grabbed a game- and season-high 10 rebounds, took a charge at one end of the floor. Following the charge, freshman Meghan Fornaro made her first field goal of the game on an "and-one" play during a key sequence for the Bears. After missing the ensuing free throw Fornaro gathered her own rebound and hit a jumper from about 12 feet out to essentially seal the game for Coast Guard. Fornaro, the leading scorer for Coast Guard, was limited to 18 minutes after suffering two early fouls in both the first and second half, resulting in her being relegated to bench duty as a result.
Coast Guard, which snapped a four-game losing streak, dominated the glass, holding a 45-25 edge over a very good rebounding team in Springfield. In addition to Knox's 10 and Ward's nine, Sutherland and Fornaro each chipped in five apiece. Despite struggling from the field (35.2 percent), Coast Guard did manage 13 assists on 19 baskets, with Fornaro and Sutherland dishing out two helpers in addition to Ward's four.
Freshman Heather Lewis led the visiting Pride with 12 points, but did so on just 6-of-17 shooting, a testament to the gritty defense that Coast Guard played all night. Junior Tamara Tribble led Springfield with eight rebounds, with freshman Jessie Klauer dishing out three assists off the bench.
Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday at Mount Holyoke at 1 p.m.
Post Game Comments from Head Coach Alex Ivansheck