Bears Fall to Smith in NEWMAC Opener

Jayla Joyner
Jayla Joyner

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Erin Hanley had a game-high 19 points and Smith outscored Coast Guard 18-4 in the second quarter en route to a 77-53 win over the Bears in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both schools.

Sophomore Kennedy Guest-Pritchett added 16 points and a team-high nine rebound as the Pioneers improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.

Junior Gill Gerton led Coast Guard (2-3, 0-1) with 10 points to go with eight rebounds while sophomore Jayla Joyner had nine points and a tied her career-high with nine rebounds for the Bears.

Smith jumped out to 12-2 lead with 5:57 left in the first quarter and the Pioneers led 17-4 with 2:34 left before the Bears used an 11-2 run to close out the quarter making the score 19-15 after one.

The Pioneers dominated play in the second quarter outscoring the Bears 18-4 including the first seven points of the quarter and the final eight points of the quarter for a 37-19 halftime lead.

Smith was 15 of 34 from the field (44.1 percent) in the first half and hit six of 12 from behind the arc while the Bears shot 29.2 percent from the floor (7-24) making just one of seven from 3-point range.

The Pioneers led by as many as 25 in the third quarter, 46-21 with 7:29 left following a bucket by Guest-Pritchett, and had a 58-36 lead after three quarters.

Smith had its largest lead of the game at 66-38 with 6:48 left on a basket by  junior Tavorsia Talley.

Coast Guard shot 35.8 percent from the floor (19-53) while hitting four of 15 from 3-point range. Smith shot 42.4 percent in the win (28-66) and made seven of 19 from behind the arc.

The Bears held a 41-36 edge in rebounding, but turned the ball 24 times while Smith had just 13 turnovers.

Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday  when they will host New London rival Connecticut College at 4:00.

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