WORCESTER, Mass.—Sophomore Meghan Fornaro led four players in double figures with 16 points to go with a career-high eight assists as Coast Guard used large runs in each half and improved to 5-0 for the first time in school history with a 68-57 win over Clark in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Junior Brittney Zimmerman finished with 15 points, senior Kaitlin Ward had 12 points and eight rebounds while junior Dani Knox had her third career double-double as she finished with ten points and a career-high tying and game-high 12 rebounds in the win for Coast Guard.
The Bears, who improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in conference, used a 20-1 first half run and a 14-0 second half run in the win. Clark drops to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Coast Guard shot 40.3 percent from the field (25-62) while making 6 of 12 from behind the arc while Clark was 18 of 52 from the floor (34.6 percent) hitting on 4 of 13 from 3-point range. The Bears held a 52-39 advantage on the glass with 24 offensive rebounds, 18 of those in the second half.
"On any night we have several players who can score and create for us and we showed that tonight," said Coast Guard head coach Alex Ivansheck. "Our defense was outstanding at times tonight, not only how they played on the court, but how the executed the scouting report."
The teams traded baskets in the early going with Clark leading 9-7 with 16:13 left in the half. Coast Guard's leading scorer and two-time defending NEWMAC Player of the Week Torie Sutherland would pick up her second foul of the game at that point which would send her to the bench for the rest of the half.
The Bears would respond in Sutherland's absence by going on a big run scoring 13 straight started as junior Brittney Zimmerman hit a 3-pointer and was capped on a jumper by Knox giving the Bears a 20-9 lead with 11:50 left in the opening half.
Coast Guard would use a 20-1 run in all taking a 27-10 lead. Clark would go without a field goal for almost ten minutes until senior Ashleigh Condon, who scored her 1,000th career point in the game, scored with 6:45 left to make the score 27-12. She led all scorers with 20 points in the game.
The Bears shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field in the first half and led 35-21 at the break as Clark shot just 7 of 31 from the floor (22.6 percent).
Ward led the Bears with ten points in the first half while the duo of Fornaro (4 for 5) and Zimmerman (3 for 3) would combine to go 7 for 8 from the floor with nine and eight points respectively in the first half.
Clark would cut the deficit to 38-31 on a 3-pointer by Condon with 14:06 left before Coast Guard ran off 14 straight started on 3-pointers by Sutherland and Zimmerman and capped on back-to-back buckets by junior Alexi Howland to take a commanding 52-31 lead with 9:13 left.
The Cougars did not go quietly scoring nine straight to cut the deficit to 52-40 with 7:23 left in the game before Howland made a pair of free throws and Knox made a hoop to push the lead back to 56-40 with 5:23 left.
Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday when the play at Albertus Magnus in a non-confernence game at 1 p.m.