BENNINGTON, Vt. – Mitchell College picked up a big road win at Southern Vermont College on Saturday afternoon by a 56-44 final in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
The visiting Mariners led 27-23 after the opening 20 minutes of action, and a strong third quarter then helped MC gain some separation for the comfortable victory.
Allegra Jones scored a game-best 15 points while snagging four boards for the Mariners. Jessica Shepherd had 11 points to go with her six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Jordan Lohneiss notched eight points, five rebounds and two assists off the bench while Camille Staggers tallied four points, four steals and a team-high seven rebounds in 20 minutes of reserve time.
Southern Vermont was led offensively by Amber Lesure who tallied 13 points while adding five rebounds and an assist. Sarah Poirier followed with seven points and seven boards off the bench while Chloe Longe had six points, two steals and a team-leading eight rebounds. Taylor Mallett registered five points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the effort.
Southern Vermont went 14-for-44 (32 percent) from the floor while holding MC to a 26 percent (21-80) clip. However, the Mariners used a 51-46 edge on the glass— which included a 25-10 upper hand on the offensive boards— to outscore SVC 12-2 in second-chance points. Mitchell also owned a 23-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
MC went up 7-1 as Ashleigh Beauford splashed home a three before Shepherd used a pass fake to open up a direct lane to the hoop. After the Mariners extended their lead to nine, Lesure drove hard to the basket down the left side of the court for a layup with 1:06 to play in the quarter. Mallett then made a nice drop-off pass to Lesure for an open lay-in as the Mountaineers made it a 10-5 game going to the second.
Free throws from both sides resulted in the first six points of the next period before Poirier drilled a triple to cut MC's advantage to 16-10. Lohneiss would soon-after swish home a trey of her own to push it back to nine, but SVC stayed close as Longe dropped in a great pass over the defense to find Mallett for the layup. Mitchell's Kate McCormack hit a turn-around jumper from the right side with 1:16 on the clock for an eight-point lead, only to see Southern Vermont tally the final four points of the half to get within four going into the locker room.
Once play resumed, Lesure made a pretty cut down the left side of the paint to trim the deficit down to a pair with the layup. Three Mainers combined for six unanswered points in response as the visitors gained back some breathing room. Longe grabbed an inbound pass at the top of the key and knocked in a jumper, and the teams then traded scores down the stretch of the third stanza. The Mariners pushed their upper hand into double digits during the last 1:01 of the quarter as Lohneiss and Lehayla Cruz scored back-to-back triples from the left edge of the arc to make it a 45-32 game going into the final frame.
Jones padded the Mitchell cushion with a trey in the fourth, and a pair of baskets by Ariana Carter made it a 16-point difference. The final few minutes of the contest saw little scoring at both ends as the Mariners closed out the road victory.
Mitchell (7-13, 7-6 NECC) will next host Bay Path University on Monday, February 6 at 6 p.m.