Bears on to Sweet 16

DARTMOUTH, MASS. – Head Coach Pete Barry’s 400th win was his most memorable as the Coast Guard men’s basketball magical season rolls on, as the Bears are heading to the Sweet 16 for time in school history. Coast Guard outscored No. 10 UMass Dartmouth 18-2 over the final 12:48, including the final seven points of the game, turning a 13-point deficit into a 50-47 win and trip to the Sweet 16.

Coast Guard will take on Rochester in the Sweet 16 on Friday night at site to be determined on Monday morning.

Senior Cory Tynes scored the first two baskets of the second half starting a 16-5 run which gave the Corsairs a 45-32 lead with 12:48 left.

Coast Guard (23-6) would not let the season end on this night as they battled back scoring 11 straight to start the 18-2 run, holding the Corsairs scoreless for over seven minutes.

Coast Guard took the lead 48-47 on a tip in by freshman Jevon James with 3:09 left. It was the Bears first lead since 24-22 with 3:49 left in the first half.

Junior Craig Johnson made one of two free throws with 44.1 seconds left while sophomore Eric Hudson, who had hit a deep 3-pointer with 3:56 left to pull the Bears to within one at 47-46, made one of two free throws with 24.5 seconds left for a 50-47 lead.

Junior Reece Freeman missed a 3-pointer and Hudson got the rebound with 2.6 seconds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one giving UMass Dartmouth one final chance. Following a timeout, a 45-footer was no good to end the game.

Craig Johnson led the Bears, who have now won 12 straight, with 15 points to go with nine rebounds and season-high six assists while senior Al Sowers and Hudson each added 11 points. James had eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

The only UMass Dartmouth (25-4) basket in the final 12:38 of the game was a bucket by Dan Holbrook with 5:35 left giving the Corsairs a 47-43 lead.

Coast Guard used a 10-3 run turning an 8-7 deficit into its largest lead of the half, 17-11 with 9:23 left in the first half.

Sowers put the Bears up 23-19 on a basket with 4:35 before UMass Dartmouth outscored Coast Guard 10-1 to take a 29-24 lead with 1:48 left.

Coast Guard took momentum into the half as in the closing seconds as James made a steal and fed Craig Johnson for a layup with under one second left in the half. The basket was the Bears first basket since Sowers scored with 4:35 left and cut the Corsairs lead to 29-27 at the break.

Craig Johnson led the Bears, who shot 41.8 percent from the floor in the first half (41. 4 percent), with eight points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Coast Guard made just one of eight from 3-point range in the opening stanza.

The Corsairs, who shot 38.7 percent in the first half (12-31), were led by senior A.J. Tavares’ seven first half points. UMass Dartmouth hit 3 of 14 from 3-point range in the first half.

Both teams struggled from the floor in the second half as the Bears shot 28.6 percent (8-28) and UMass Dartmouth was less impressive 8-31 in the final 20 minutes, just two for 13 from 3-point range.

Coast Guard won despite having its second worst shooting night of the season, as the Bears were 20 of 57 (35.1 percent). The Corsairs shot 32.3 percent (20-62) in the game.

Coach Barry is now 400-301 overall and 249-202 in 18 seasons at Coast Guard which is the most wins at the Academy.

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