Bears Second Half Rally Falls Short in NEWMAC Opener

Noah Baldez
Noah Baldez

BOSTON, Mass. –  Jack O'Connor game-highs with 28 points and 13 rebounds leading defending New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) champion Emerson to a 94-75 win over Coast Guard in the conference opener.

The Lions improve to 8-4 while the Bears fall to 5-6 on the season.

Noah Baldez had a career-high 25 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead Coast Guard, it was his second double-double of the season.

Packy Witkowski and Tyler Perez each added 11 points for Coast Guard.

Coast Guard, which played much better in the second half, trailed 56-35 at the half and cut the deficit to 69-58 with 11:42 left following an old fashion three-point play by Baldez.

Witkowski knocked down a trey with 8:15 left as Coast Guard got the lead below double figures at 75-68.

Emerson would then use an 12-2 run taking an 87-70 lead with 3:46 left to put the game away.

The Lions shot 50 percent in the win (36-72) and made 9 of 27 from 3-point range, missing all eight attempts in the second half.

Coast Guard shot 35.5 percent (27 of 76) hitting 9 of 30 (30 percent) from behind the arc.

The Lions jumped out to a 13-2 lead connecting on 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Emerson would hit five of their first six treys and eight of 10 from the field taking a 23-7 lead in the first five minutes.

Emerson would hit their seventh 3-pointer of the half with 11:39 left taking a 31-9 lead. The Lions shot 56.8 percent (21-37) in the first half while knocking down 9 of 19 from 3-point range. Coast Guard shot 37.1 percent (13-35) and made 2 of 9 from behind the arc in the first half.

The Bears are back in action on Saturday at MIT in a NEWMAC game at 2:00.