Wellesley Basketball Celebrates Senior Day; Falls to Coast Guard, 49-40

The Blue recognized seniors Zojajha Ayub and Laura McGeary prior to Saturday's game (Julia Monaco).
The Blue recognized seniors Zojajha Ayub and Laura McGeary prior to Saturday's game (Julia Monaco).

WELLESLEY, Mass -- The United States Coast Guard Academy used a balanced offensive attack and strong defensive effort to defeat Wellesley College basketball, 49-40, in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday at the Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

With the win, Coast Guard improves to 5-9 in NEWMAC play and 7-16 overall, while Wellesley drops 8-13 and 5-10 in conference.

Prior to the start of today's contest, seniors Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) and Laura McGeary (Tucson, Ariz.) were recognized for their contributions and dedication to the Blue basketball program over the last four years.

Senior Micaela Martinelli (Vero Beach, Fla.) led the Bears with 13 points and eight rebounds, while first year Kyra Hartman (Shillington, Pa.) pitched in with 12 points and seven rebounds for Coast Guard. First year Emma Puddington (Castorland, N.Y.) chipped in with 11 points and matched Martinelli with a team-high eight boards.

Sophomore Alyssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.) led the Blue with 13 points and nine rebounds, while junior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) came off the bench and scored ten points and grabbed six rebounds in 29 minutes. Junior Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) added five rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the setback.

Coast Guard started off the first half strong, taking a 30-17 lead into the break. The Bears held Wellesley to 30.7% (8-of-26) shooting from the floor, while converting on 40% (12-of-30) of their own shots, including 30% (3-of-10) from three point land. Puddington led all scorers with nine points in the first half. The Bears shot 42.9% (3-of-7) from three in the second quarter to extend their lead to 13 at half.

The Blue outscored the Bears by four points in the second half,  as Kopp scored eight of her ten points, but Wellesley's comeback effort fell short. The Blue held Coast Guard to only two three pointers in the fourth quarter as their defense forced nine turnovers to get themselves back in the game. However,  it was not enough to overcome the 13-point halftime deficit, as Wellesley eventually dropped a 49-40 final.

Wellesley finished the game 18-for-60 (30%) from the floor while Coast Guard countered with 19-for-54 (35.2%) shooting. The Bears had a 40-36 advantage in rebounding and 24-14 edge in points in the paint.

Wellesley travels to Pine Manor for a non-league match up on Monday, February 11, with a 6:00 PM start. Coast Guard is set to host Springfield in a NEWMAC contest on Wednesday, February 14, at 7:00 PM.