NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Elms College men's basketball team did enough late to come away with an 82-77 victory over Mitchell College on Saturday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Blazers picked up their first win of the season as the trio of Symon Smith, Trifon Bish and Conny Ihearahu combined for 66 points. Smith led all scorers with 29 points and shot 5-for-10 from three while going 8-for-8 from the line. Bishop finished with 20 points and went 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, and Ihearahu notched a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Domenico Santiago paced the Mariners with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Alan Morgan added 16 points and nine assists while Brayvon Young and Hasani Williams chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Elms led by three (36-33) at intermission but extended the margin to as many as 15 in the early stages of the second half. Mitchell came roaring back behind a 19-4 run, tying the game on a deep three by Young with 8:50 to go. From that point on it was a dog fight, with both sides taking turns in the lead.
A three-pointer by Bish tied the game at 76-76 with 1:52 remaining. The Blazers then pulled ahead on a pair of free throws by Smith and later led by one with under a minute to play. After Tre Holmes was called for a charge with 20 seconds left, Smith once again sunk two freebies to extend the Elms lead to three.
Mitchell's next possession resulted in a turnover with eight ticks left on the clock, but a miscue by the Blazers on the ensuing inbounds pass gave the Mariners one last chance to tie. Gemel McLeod got a clean look from straight on but drew only iron, and Elms secured the rebound with less than a second remaining.
The Blazers shot 38 percent from the floor but made up for it by going 18-for-20 at the charity stripe. The Mariners shot 51 percent from the field but struggled at the line (9-for-19).
Mitchell (0-4 overall, 0-1 NECC) will next play at Albertus Magnus College on Thursday, December 8 at 7 p.m. Elms (1-6 overall, 1-1 NECC) returns to action at home against Wheelock College on Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.