Second Half Surge Sends Coast Guard Past Wellesley Basketball, 63-44

Lauren Dines (Julia Monaco)
Lauren Dines (Julia Monaco)

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Micaela Martinelli (Vero Beach, Fla.) and junior Gill Gerton (Lorton, Va.) combined for 31 points to lead the visiting U.S. Coast Guard Academy to a 63-44 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College basketball on Saturday at Gracia Mangano Martore '73 Court.

Coast Guard moves within one game of the seventh-place Blue in the NEWMAC standings, improving to 3-7 in conference and 5-13 overall. Wellesley dips below .500 at 8-9 overall and is now 4-7 in NEWMAC play.

Martinelli poured in a career-high 19 points for the Bears, shooting 3-of-8 from distance, while also adding six rebounds. Gerton dominated on the interior, collecting a game-high 21 rebounds and adding 12 points to record her fifth double double of the season. The junior forward also tallied four blocks, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action. First year Breanna Wood (Somerset, Mass.) finished one bucket shy of recording a double double, with eight points and 14 boards, while classmate Laura Irish (Boise, Idaho) chipped in nine points and three boards off the Coast Guard bench.

Wellesley first year Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) finished with nine points, three rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 30 minutes. Sophomore Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) and first year Keer Sun (Pine Brook, N.J.) each added seven points and senior Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I.) and junior Kayla Jang (South Pasadena, Calif.) each grabbed six rebounds. 

The Blue built an early advantage through the opening eight minutes of play, taking a 12-7 lead when first year Lauren Dines (Tenafly, N.J.) hit the free throw following an 'and-one' at 3:51. However, Coast Guard followed with back-to-back triples to end a back-and-forth opening period with a 13-12 advantage. The game remained close throughout the second stanza, with neither side able to grab more than a one-point lead until Sun gave the Blue a 25-22 advantage with 1:09 left before the half. Martinelli and Jang exchanged layups in the final minute of play, before a triple from Martinelli sent the teams into the half tied at 27-all.

The second half belonged to the visitors, as Coast Guard outscored the Blue 19-10 in the third quarter and 17-7 in the fourth quarter to break the contest open. Leading 46-37 at the end of the third, the Bears used an 8-0 run at the start of the fourth, holding the Blue without a bucket until the 5:03 mark of the quarter, to put the game out of reach.

Coast Guard controlled the boards in the game, out-rebounding the Blue 56-34, while scoring 24 second chance points and 20 points in the paint. The Bears held the Blue to 28.1 percent shooting (18-of-64), while shooting 35.7 percent (20-of-56) and dishing out 13 assists.

Wellesley will welcome Babson to the court for a NEWMAC contest on National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00 PM. Coast Guard will also continue conference play on Wednesday with a 7:00 PM tip-off at Clark.