Bears Can't Hold Halftime Lead; Fall at Smith

Laura Irish
Laura Irish

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Kennedy Guest-Pritchett had game-highs with 23 points and 11 rebounds leading Smith to a 66-51 win over Coast Guard in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.

The Pioneers, who trailed 35-32 at halftime, improve to 11-4 overall and 4-3 in the NEWMAC while Coast Guard drops to 2-12 overall and 0-6 in conference play.

Junior Gill Gerton led the Bears with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Freshman Laura Irish added a career-high 13 points while junior Jill Bray finished with 10 points for the Bears, who shot 44.7 percent from the field (21-47) while making 3 of 11 from behind the arc.

The Bears had an early 11-6 lead before Smith scored 10 straight for a 16-11 lead with 2:24 left in the first quarter and led 21-17 after the first quarter.

Irish knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers as the Bears regained the lead 26-25 with 6:02 left in the first half and Coast Guard led 35-32 at the half.

The Pioneers hit three 3-pointers and added a pair of free throws in an 11-1 run to start the second half to take a 43-36 lead with 6:28 left in the third.

Coast Guard would close to within 43-42 on a hoop by Gerton with 4:26 left in the third, but that would be the Bears final field goal of the quarter as Smith scored six of the final seven points to lead 49-43 after three quarters.

The Bears were held scoreless in the final 5:18 as Irish's basket with 5:18 left cut the deficit to 59-51 before Smith scored the final seven points of the game.

Smith shot 47.2 percent in the win (25-53) while making 9 of 21 from 3-point range.

The Pioneers dominated the glass outrebounding the Bears 40-22.

Coast Guard is back in action on Wednesday when the Bears host Wheaton in a NEWMAC game at 7:00.

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