KINGS POINT, N.Y.-- Freshman Jacqueline Ward scored 16 points to lead Coast Guard women's basketball to a 57-54 victory over Merchant Marine on Wednesday night. The Bears improve to 10-3 on the season, while the Mariners drop to 6-3 overall.
Coast Guard now has a 7-1 advantage in the race for the Superintendents' Trophy.
Ward led the Bears with 16 points, 10 coming from the free throw line. She also had four rebounds, three assists and steals. Kyra Hartman tallied double figures for the ninth time this season for the Bears with 12 points, also adding nine rebounds.
Lauren Hunter recorded a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Kaleigh D'Arcy tallied 16 points for Merchant Marine.
The Mariners opened the game with a 5-1 run through the first five minutes of play. Ward put away four free throws to chip away at the Mariners as they held a 11-9 lead after the first.
The Bears were dominant entering the second quarter, opening with a 9-0 run to take an 18-13 lead. D'Arcy made a layup for the Mariners at 6:17 to cut their deficit, 18-15. The Bears responded by scoring the following six points, including a three-pointer from Hartman that gave the Bears a 24-15 advantage. Ward and junior Annabella Farabaugh made back-to-back jumpers for the Bears to give them their first double digit lead at 28-17. The Mariners scored four free throws to end the half trailing 28-21.
The Bears maintained a 10 point lead throughout the third as they outscored the Mariners 16-12 with a 44-33 lead to finish the quarter. Ward led the quarter with six points, four coming from the charity line.
The Mariners opened the final quarter on a 7-2 run to cut their deficit, 46-40. The Bears answered with back-to-back threes from Hartman and Farabaugh and a jumper from sophomore Emma Puddington to extend their lead 54-40 with just under five minutes remaining. The Mariners went on a 12-0 run in the final minutes to inch their way back as they trailed 54-52 with 26 seconds remaining. Ward and Hartman combined for the final three points for the Bears with three free throws. D'Arcy made the final layup of the game with four seconds remaining for the 57-54 final.
Coast Guard shot 66.7% (14-21) from the free throw line and Merchant Marine had a 54-41 advantage in rebounds.
The Bears are back at home on Monday, January 13 at 7 PM against St. Joseph's.