NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team held off a late charge by Newbury College to post a 64-59 victory in a New England Collegiate Conference showdown Tuesday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners won their sixth straight game and improved to 11-13 overall and 11-6 in league play. Jessica Shepherd led Mitchell with 19 points and netted her 1,000th career point early in the fourth quarter. Alexandra Kolb added 15 points and eight rebounds while Allegra Jones rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points and nine boards.
Destiny Spears finished with game highs of 24 points and 14 rebounds to pace Newbury (8-16 overall, 8-9 NECC). Savannah Olsen, who battled foul trouble, contributed 16 points and nine rebounds in only 23 minutes.
The game was close throughout as Mitchell held a four-point lead after the opening quarter and a 27-25 edge at the break. Neither side led by more than four in the third quarter, and the Mariners took a slim 44-42 advantage into the final stanza.
An 8-0 Mitchell run in the fourth pushed the lead to double digits for the first time. The Mariners later led 56-45 with 4:05 to play, although the Nighthawks fired back with the next six points to stay in the game. Newbury got as close as 59-57 on a pair of free throws by Spears with 57 seconds to go, but a lay-up by Jones on the ensuing possession kept the Mariners in front.
Spears scored 20 points in the second half—10 in each quarter—to keep the Nighthawks in the game. She shot 7-for-18 from the field and 10-for-15 from the free throw line.
Shepherd netted her 1,000th career point with 9:00 to play in the game, draining a long jumper off an inbounds play for the first bucket of the fourth quarter. She is the third Mitchell player in the school's Division III era to reach the milestone, joining Jen Iglesias '10 and Amanda Garcia '16. Shepherd also became the school's all-time leader in three-point field goals, surpassing Kaylee Cerruto '13 with a pair of threes to give her 166 in her career.
Mitchell wraps up the regular season at Becker College on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. Newbury will next host Wheelock College on Saturday at 1 p.m.