NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Gillian Gerton led all scorers with 18 points and she added a game-highs of 11 rebounds and five assists as Coast Guard beat Clark 70-56 to clinch a spot in next week's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.
Coast Guard started the second half on a 14-0 run as the Bears put the game away opening up a 50-31 lead on a layup by Gerton with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Gerton had eight points in the run.
It was Gerton's 24th career double-double and her seventh of the season. Sophomore Laura Irish tied a season-high 11 points in the win.
The Bears improve to 13-11 overall and 7-8 in the NEWMAC while Clark drops to 10-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play. Coast Guard will be the 7th seed and will play at the 2nd seed on Feb. 21st in the first round.
Junior Ogechi Ezemma led Clark with 16 points, freshman Idalis Miranda added 12 points while junior Rachel Chen had a team-high nine rebounds for the Cougars.
The Bears jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game, but Clark would use a 9-2 run over the final 3:13 of the quarter cutting the deficit to 16-13 after one.
Sophomore Laura Irish would hit a 3-pointer with 7:25 left in the first half to cap an 8-2 run to start the second quarter as Coast Guard took a 24-15 lead. The Bears led 36-31 at halftime.
Gerton led the way in the first half with 10 points and nine rebounds while Ezemma had 12 first half points to lead the Cougars.
Coast Guard shot 37 percent in the win (27-73) while connecting on 6 of 25 from 3-point range. The Cougars were 20 of 58 from the field (34.5 percent) and hit 4 of 16 from behind the arc.
The Bears close out the regular season on Saturday at MIT in a NEWMAC game at 3:00.