NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored a game-high 20 points to lead Wellesley College basketball to a 65-55 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday at Rolland Hall.
Wellesley snaps a seven-game skid with the victory, improving to 4-9 overall and 2-5 in the NEWMAC. Coast Guard drops one game below .500, moving to 6-7 overall and 3-4 in conference.
Aguirre finished the game 8-for-15 floor, dropping in a pair of three-pointers while adding two steals and two rebounds. First year Lane Arkangel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) added 14 points in 27 minutes off the Blue bench, while senior Chelsea Brown (San Jose, Calif.) dropped in nine points and added four assists. Arkangel and sophomore Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) each grabbed five rebounds and sophomore Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) registered five steals.
Junior Micaela Martinelli (Vero Beach, Fla.) scored 14 points to lead Coast Guard. Martinelli also added four rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes of action. Sophomore Breanna Wood (Somerset, Mass.) finished the contest with a game-high eight rebounds, while senior Gillian Gerton (Lorton, Va.) scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds for the Bears.
Despite seven points from Aguirre in the first 10 minutes, the Bears jumped out to a 17-10 lead in the opening quarter. The Blue responded by outscoring the Bears 11-4 over the first five minutes of the second quarter, rallying from the seven-point first quarter deficit to tie the contest, 21-21, on a You Mak layup at 5:07. The teams exchanged four-point runs, running the score to 25-25 at 1:16, but a layup from Laura Irish (Boise, Idaho) at 59 seconds and three points from Brenna Farrington (East Northport, N.Y.) at nine seconds sent Coast Guard into the break leading 30-25.
The Blue outscored the Bears 40-25 in the second half, spurred by a 21-point third quarter. Wellesley opened the third on an 8-2 run, erasing the halftime deficit to take a 34-32 lead when Kopp hit a layup at 7:26. Martinelli pulled the Bears back in front at 6:37, knocking down a three to make the score 35-34. However, Aguirre, Kopp, and You Mak scored on the next three Blue possession to put Wellesley back in front, 40-35, at 4:57. Wellesley would lead for the remainder of the contest, eventually extending their two-point lead to 12 in the final seconds of the fourth before closing out the 65-55 win.
Wellesley finished the game shooting 51.1% (24-of-47) from the field. Coast Guard countered at 43.8% (21-of-48), but Wellesley knocked down 13-of-17 free throws while the Bears only made 7-of-12. Coast Guard had a 33-23 advantage on the glass, but Wellesley forced 22 Coast Guard turnovers and only turned the ball over 12 times.
Both teams return to NEWMAC play on Wednesday evening, January 17, at 7:00 PM. Wellesley will host WPI and Coast Guard will travel to Mount Holyoke.