NEW LONDON, Conn.-Sophomore Meghan Fornaro scored 14 points to lead three players in double-figures as the Coast Guard women's basketball team to a convincing 71-31 win over Mitchell on Saturday in both teams' season-openers. The win over Mitchell (0-1) was the fourth straight for Coast Guard (1-0) in the all-time series which dates back to the 2005/06 season.
Senior Kaitlin Ward poured in 10 points and tallied rebounds. Sophomore Amanda Garcia led Mitchell with eight points and added seven rebounds in the effort.
Coast Guard got out to an early 21-4 lead by the 5:18 mark and led by as many as 23 during the first half before heading into the locker room with a 31-10 advantage.
Coast Guard started out the second half on an 8-2 run en route to holding a 40-21 advantage in second half scoring.
Junior Dani Knox led the Bears with nine rebounds while off the bench while adding six points. Juniors Leigha Steinbeck and Alexi Howland chipped in with five and six points, respectively. Fornaro and Steinbeck each had five assists for the Bears.
Freshman Caycee Williams grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and added seven points for the Mariners.
For the game Coast Guard shot 38.2 percent from the floor (29-76) while making 6 of 23 attempts from 3-point range. Mitchell managed to shoot just 23.1 percent (12-52) for the game and made just 4 of 13 long-range attempts. The Bears were 7-12 on free throw attempts while the Mariners went 3-7 from the charity stripe on the evening.
Senior Brittney Zimmerman (11) and sophomore Torie Sutherland (10) combined for 21 for the Bears who won their season-opener for the fourth straight season. Both players pulled down five rebounds each. The Bears have not lost a season-opener on the road against a Division III opponent since falling 66-28 to Southern Maine to kick off the 2003/04 season.
Coast Guard is now 7-1 all-time against Mitchell and the Bears are now 3-1 against the Mariners in road contests.
Coast Guard returns to action on Wednesday, November 20th when they open up conference play against defending champion Babson at 7:00 pm. The Bears will return home on Saturday, November 23rd when they host Wellesley at 1:00 pm.