Feb. 27, 2008
Courtesy Coast Guard Sports Information
NEW LONDON, Conn. - Senior Al Sowers had a game-high 18 points while junior Craig Johnson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as third-seeded and defending New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament champion Coast Guard held sixth-seeded MIT to a season-low 44 points in a 58-44 win in the first round of the NEWMAC tournament.
Coast Guard (19-6) advances to the semifinals and will take on seventh-seeded Wheaton at top-seeded WPI on Saturday at 3 p.m. The championship game will be at WPI on Sunday at noon. WPI will host fourth-seeded Babson in the first semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Bears jumped out to an 11-0 lead with 16 minutes left in the first half as Sowers hit a pair of three-pointers in the first four minutes. The Engineers responded with 10 straight to make the score 11-10 with 10:48 left in the first half. Coast Guard then scored nine straight, the first six on back-to-back three's by senior Grant Johnson as the Bears led 20-10 with 6:11 left in the half.
Coast Guard also closed out the first half on a 9-2 spurt turning a 25-14 lead into a 34-16 halftime lead. MIT was held to just six first-half field goals (6-of-21) and were 1-of-7 from three-point range while Coast Guard hit 7-of-13 (53.8%) from beyond the arc in the opening period to spark a strong perimiter attack.
MIT (12-14) got as close as 12 on two separate occasions, the final one being 36-24 with 16:21 left, but Coast Guard bolstered its lead back to 20 points with 3:44 left before MIT scored the final eight points of the game.
Junior Jimmy Bartolotta, the NEWMAC's leading scorer, was held to a season-low 12 points and no rebounds. His 12 points still served as a team-high while he moved past Craig Heffernan '01 for fourth on MIT's all-time scoring list with 1,479 points. Playing in their final game donning the Cardinal and Gray, Alex Bagley and Barnett Koryan produced good efforts. Bagley scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting while grabbing a team-high six boards; and Koryan dropped in six points on 3-of-5 shooting while adding two rebounds and a steal.
Grant Johnson added 12 points for the Bears while Craig Johnson didn't miss a shot all night, going 3-for-3 from the field and 4-for-4 from the foul line to finish with 10 points.