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Coast Guard Squeaks Past Wellesley Basketball, 65-56

Pujita Shukla '23 (Frank Poulin)
Pujita Shukla '23 (Frank Poulin)

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Coast Guard won a hard fought 65-56 game over Wellesley College basketball in both teams' New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on Saturday at Roland Hall. 

Sophomore Julia Mann (Central Square, N.Y.) recorded a double-double for the Bears (8-7 Overall, 1-0 NEWMAC) with 17 points and 11 rebounds with senior Jacqueline Ward (Brant Beach, N.J.) and junior Kira Wood (Seattle, Wash.) each scoring in double figures. The Blue (6-9 Overall, 0-1 NEWMAC) were led by senior Pujita Shukla (Austin, Texas) with 17 points, including nine made free throws, and a career-high six assists. Junior Jiyun Chae (Chantilly, Va.) added 14 points and a trio of steals.

Ward got the Bears off to good start with a quick four points early before junior Anna Greenthal (Orinda, Calif) hit a three for the Wellesley. The lead swung back and forth early before a 9-0 run with Mann scoring six points brought the Bears' lead to 18-9. Coast Guard 21-12 after one quarter.

Mann expanded the Bears' margin to 10 in the second with a three making it 24-14. Shukla helped the Blue get the led back to single digits at 28-21 with several made foul shots, a layup, and a made jumper. Wellesley cut Coast Guard's lead to 32-27 at halftime with a late two pointer from Chae. Shukla had 12 in the half for the Blue while Wood scored 10 for the Bears.

Greenthal opener the third with a three to make it 32-30 before the Bears brought their lead back to five at 37-32. A pair of baskets from first year Taylor Lynch (Madison, Ind.) gave Coast Guard 43-36 lead around the 2:30 mark of the third to keep Wellesley at arm's length. The teams traded points late in the third with the Bears up 49-40 after three.

The Bears made six consecutive free throws in the fourth to bring the score to 59-47. First year Madison Wieboldt (Chapel Hill, N.C.) hit a layup and a foul shot late in the quarter to get the game to 62-50 before the Bears buried a three to seal the game.

The Blue return home on Wednesday to host Mount Holyoke in NEWMAC play at 7:00 PM. The Bears travel to MIT on Wednesday for a 6:00 PM game.