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Men's Basketball Falls to Coast Guard

Men's Basketball Falls to Coast Guard

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Junior Noah Baldez (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting to help the Coast Guard Academy men's basketball team remain undefeated with a 65-55 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology on the second day of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic.

With the win the Bears improve to 4-0 while the Leopards fall to 1-3. Sunday's game marked the first meeting between the two schools since November 30, 2010, after having met at least once a year from 1985-2010.

Coast Guard took an 11-6 lead 3:19 into the contest as Baldez converted a three-point play. Layups from sophomore Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) and junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) cut the lead to one, however, Baldez scored the next four points to push the lead back to five. Wentworth answered with a five-point spurt as sophomore Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) nailed a three and Azums hit two free throws to tie the game at 18-all. Four straight points by Coast Guard gave the Bears the lead back before a 7-0 run gave the Black & Gold a 25-22 lead with 7:12 remaining. During the run, sophomore Trey Carrier (Wilton, N.H.) had four points.

The teams twice traded three pointers with freshman Joseph Hecker (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) hitting a three to give Wentworth a 31-28 lead with 5:13 left in the half. After Coast Guard scored five quick points to take a two-point lead, junior Ellis Christmas (Elmsford, N.Y.) made a jumper to tie the score at 33-all. An 8-0 run to close out the half gave the Bears a 41-33 lead at the break.

Junior Sean Graytok (Greensburg, Pa.) opened the second half with a layup to increase the lead to 10 and the Bears led by 13 on two occasions before taking a 15-point lead (52-37) on two free throws from senior Nolan Benson with 13:34 remaining. Wentworth outscored Coast Guard 12-2 over the next 9:03 and pulled within five (54-49) on a senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) three pointer. The Bears answered with a 9-0 run to push the lead back into double figures.

In addition to his 21 points, Baldez grabbed eight rebounds, had three assists, and three steals. Benson added 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting, while junior Packy Witkowski (Melrose, Mass.) scored 11 points.

Azums, who earned all-tournament team honors, led the Leopards with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go along with grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Henseler scored 10 points, while Christmas added eight. Wentworth held Coast Guard to 24 second-half points after allowing 41 in the first half.

Wentworth is idle until the Leopards open Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Wednesday, November 28, when the Leopards host Gordon at 7:30 p.m.

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