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Coast Guard Men's Basketball Defeats Wheaton

Battaglia and Capstick combine for 32 points.

The Wheaton College men's basketball team fell to Coast Guard Academy, 64-58, on Sunday afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at Roland Gym in a makeup game which was originally scheduled for February 9. 

Freshman guard Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, Conn./The Taft School)compiled a team-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including a 4-for-6 performance from three-point range, and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Eddie Capstick (Worcester, Mass./Marianapolis Prep) tallied 12 points, two steals and one block. Senior forward Brian Johnson (Roxbury, Mass./Brimmer and May School) turned in nine points and a team-high 11 boards. 

Sophomore Jaycob Morales (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic)filled the stat sheet with two points, eight caroms, two steals and one assist. Classmate Mike O'Loughlin (Milford, N.H./Milford) collected eight points, six rebounds and one steal. 

The majority of the Bears offense came from just two players as seniors Jimmy Knudsen (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood) and Greg Marshall (Gaithersburg, Md./New Mexico Military Institute)combined for 50 of the squad's 64 points. Knudsen poured in 26 points and 13 rebounds - both game-highs - while Marshall had 24 points, seven rebounds and one assist. 

Wheaton held a 17-4 margin in points off of turnovers and a 20-8 differential in points in the paint. Coast Guard outrebounded the Lyons, 41-36, and nearly shot 45.0-percent from the field connecting on 24-for-54 (44.4-percent) on its total shots. 

The Lyons took a five-point lead into halftime, 41-36, as Battaglia canned a three-point shot with one-second remaining in the stanza on a feed from senior guard Scott Faucher (Lebanon, N.H./Kimball Union Academy). Wheaton remained on top for 4:36 into the second half before Coast Guard finished off a 7-1 run to take the lead. 

Senior guard Ed Gailor (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) swished a three-pointer at the 18:37 mark, Knudsen connected on a jumper at 16:37 and Marshall capped the run with a jumper at 14:26. 

Coast Guard earned its biggest lead of the game at eight points, 52-44, with 8:52 left to play but the Lyons rallied over the next five minutes and two-seconds worth of action to cut the game to a four-point deficit (58-54) using a 10-6 run. The Lyons went 6-for-8 from the free throw line down the stretch and received a team-leading four points from O'Loughlin to highlight the run. 

After Knudsen drained a jump shot at the 3:23 mark, Battaglia and O'Loughlin converted back-to-back baskets to trim the Bears advantage to 60-58 with 49-seconds remaining. Coast Guard sealed its second victory of the season at the charity stripe making all four of its free throw attempts. The Bears also snapped an 18-game losing streak on "Senior Day." 

Wheaton (9-13, 1-9 NEWMAC) hosts Babson College in a NEWMAC clash on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Emerson Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Coast Guard (2-19, 1-10 NEWMAC) welcomes Albertus Magnus to New London, Conn. for a non-conference matchup on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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