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Coast Guard Sinks Men’s Basketball, 54-41

Springfield, Mass. — January 21, 2009 — Jevon James scored 16 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, both game-high figures, to lead the Coast Guard Academy men’s basketball team to a 54-41 victory over Springfield College tonight in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference contest at Springfield’s Blake Arena. With the win, Coast Guard is now 8-8 overall, 1-4 in the NEWMAC, while Springfield is now 7-9 overall, and 0-4 in league play.

James, a sophomore forward from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, scored 8 of his 16 points in the first half, when the Bears took a 21-17 lead. In fact, Coast Guard scored the first eight points of the game, four by senior forward Craig Johnson (Medford, Ore.), in the first 4:16 of play. But Springfield then snapped to life by scoring the next nine points, four by senior center John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.), two by senior guard Danny White (Melrose, Mass.), and a three-pointer by sophomore forward Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) with 9:52 remaining.

The momentum shifted right back, however, as the Bears tallied the next nine straight points. the final three coming on a three-point play by Johnson. That gave Coast Guard a 17-9 advantage. Springfield scored eight of the last 12 points in that half to cut the margin to four at the intermission.

Things began to look up for the home team at the start of the second half when Springfield scored the first four points of that stanza on buckets by junior guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) and junior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.). But a lay-up by James with 17:28 left actually put Coast Guard into the lead for good, although the game was not decided until the final two minutes.

When Crean made a conventional three-point play with 2:36 remaining, the lead had been cut to two, 43-41. But those were destined to be the last points Springfield would score. A huge basket had been scored by freshman guard Theo Jensen (Doylestown, Pa.) when he banked in a three-pointer from a good 22-feet away with 3:19 left. That had made it 43-38. After it was cut to two, it was James who made a conventional three-point play with 2:13 left. Junior guard Eric Hudson (Pasadena, Calif.) then scored a free throw with 1:53 left after he had stolen a pass. Hudson followed with a dunk with 1:30 left, giving Coast Guard a 49-41 lead, tying the largest lead by either team in the game at that point. In all, Coast Guard ended the game on a 11-0 run.

Following James’s 16 points and 12 rebounds, Johnson had a solid 15 points and 7 rebounds for the Bears. The only other double-figure scorer for Coast Guard was Hudson with 11. He also had 8 rebounds.

For Springfield, Strawson led with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Crean had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Freshman center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) corralled a team-high 9 rebounds for the Pride, Coburn also had 3 blocks.

Neither team shot very well from the floor. For the game, Coast Guard made 20 -of-56 attempts (.357). Springfield made just 16-of-58 attempts (.276). Coast Guard was 2-of-17 from three-point range, while Springfield was just 3-of-18. Coast Guard out-rebounded Springfield, 43-38.

Up next, Springfield travels to Babson on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3 pm.