FRANKLIN, Mass. -- The Mitchell College men's basketball team dropped a 78-71 decision to Dean College on Saturday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference match-up at Pieri Gymnasium.
Armani Baker led a foursome of Dean players in double figures with 20 points. The win for Dean avenges an early season loss to the Mariners, who entered the contest having won seven of their last nine games, including three straight. Brayvon Young paced Mitchell with 20 points while both Domenico Santiago (15 points, 15 rebounds) and Hasani Williams (15 points, 17 rebounds) had monster double-doubles.
Mitchell actually came out as the aggressor, blocking two of the Bulldogs first three shot attempts and taking an early 8-2 lead. However, all the momentum swung into Dean's favor when it went on a 16-4 run that was capped by a Josh Croskey one-handed dunk, making the score 23-15.
Young later helped lead a rally for the Mariners, converting a three-point play that sliced the Bulldogs' lead down to 27-23. Dean answered back and pushed its lead to 15 at 40-25 after Courie Stevenson banked in a top of the key jumper.
The Bulldogs' lead stayed in double figures into the second half and after Randolf Thurman finished inside and then dropped in a leftside three-pointer, Dean was in front, 63-46. Mitchell slowly whittled the lead down, and when Steffen Brunson knocked down back-to-back three-pointers, the Mariners were suddenly within six at 74-68 with two minutes to go.
Even after a Jordan Booker jumper slowed down Mitchell's comeback bid, Santiago split a pair from the charity stripe to make the score 76-71 with 38 seconds to go. Booker, however, was there to seal the game when he knocked down two clutch free throws with 34 seconds left.
Dean committed just nine turnovers, compared to 19 miscues by the Mariners, which the Bulldogs turned into 12 points. Mitchell did hold a 51-42 edge on the glass, but Dean had a 44-28 advantage in points in the paint.
In addition to his 20 points, Baker added 16 rebounds. Meanwhile, Dayvon Russell stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. Booker (nine rebounds, five assists) and Thurman both ended with 14 points.
Both teams are back in action with league contests on Wednesday, February 7. Dean (12-9 overall, 6-4 NECC) hosts Elms College at 7:00 p.m. while Mitchell (11-10 overall, 7-3 NECC) welcomes Wheelock College at 7:30 p.m.