CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team outlasted host Wheelock College for a 56-53 overtime victory in a New England Collegiate Conference contest this evening at Brunelli Court on the campus of Pine Manor College.
Freshman guard Zilka Navarro netted 18 points while classmate Sheanna James added 13 to pace the Mariners. Mitchell improved to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in NECC play, while the Wildcats fell to 0-10 and 0-4.
Mitchell owned a 49-46 lead with time winding down in regulation, but Wheelock guard Jessica Ramsey was fouled on a three-point field goal attempt with no time left on the clock. The guard sank all three tries to send the contest into overtime.
Ramsey scored on a put back just 72 seconds into the extra period to give the Wildcats a 51-49 lead, but freshman guard Hannah Smith responded by drilling a three-pointer 11 seconds later to give the visitors the lead for good at 52-51. Senior guard Bianca Young later converted a lay-up with 2:31 showing in the extra session to give the Mariners their largest lead since midway through the second half at 55-51.
Kailah Simon followed her own missed shot with a lay-up to pull Wheelock to within 55-53 with 56 seconds left in the game. The Wildcats came away with a steal on the following possession and looked to knot the contest again, but turned the ball over as Navarro later made one of two free throws to make it 56-53 with seven ticks left in the game. The Wildcats were unable to connect on a game-tying trey as the game ended.
Mitchell opened the contest with an 11-3 lead with 10:27 to play in the half, but Wheelock responded with a 13-2 run, led by six points from Ramsey, to take a 16-13 margin with 5:05 showing in the period. The Wildcats maintained their lead and took a 24-23 edge into the intermission.
The Mariners were hot to begin the second half, reeling off 11 unanswered points, paced by five points from James, to take their largest lead of the evening at 38-26 with 12:10 remaining in regulation. Wheelock answered with 13 straight points, including a trifecta from Ramsey and a lay-up from Keneisha Milton to seize a 39-38 lead with 7:49 to go in the second session.
The teams played within three points of one another for the final seven minutes of the half, before Ramsey sent the game to overtime.
Mitchell forced 43 turnovers on the night and came away with 22 steals, while the Wildcats dominated the glass with a 59-30 rebounding advantage.
Navarro added three steals, a rebound and an assist to her night for the Mariners, while James finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals, four assists and a blocked shot. Young contributed with seven points, eight rebounds and a game-high eight steals.
Ramsey finished a rebound shy of her first career double-double for Wheelock with 21 points and a career-high nine rebounds in addition to three steals, while playing all 45 minutes. Milton posted a double-double of 14 points and 19 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive glass, and added three steals and an assist. Kayla Drescher chipped in with five points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Mitchell will next host Southern Vermont College for a league game on Thursday, January 12 at 3 p.m.