LEICESTER, Mass. -- The Mitchell College women's basketball team closed the regular season with its seventh straight win, beating Becker College by a 60-56 final on Saturday afternoon at Leicester Gymnasium.
With the victory the Mariners earned the fourth seed and a home game for the first round of the New England Collegiate Conference Women's Basketball Championship. Mitchell will host fifth-seeded Wheelock College on Tuesday, February 21 at 6 p.m.
Jessica Shepherd led the Mariners (12-13, 12-6 NECC) with 22 points and five rebounds and shot 6-for-11 from behind the arc. Alexandra Kolb finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Allegra Jones came off the bench to score 11 points. Kate McCormack dished out a game-high six assists with three steals while Camille Staggers and Ashleigh Beauford each pulled down eight rebounds. Collectively, Mitchell shot 11-for-26 from three-point range.
The Hawks (14-11, 13-5 NECC) were led by Cassidy Harrison with 22 points and four steals. Harrison shot 11-for-13 from the foul line. Ciara McKissick pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds with eight points and two steals. Adrianna Dowdy chipped in four points and six rebounds while Micaela Rice came off the bench to pull down six boards.
Mitchell took an early lead on a three-pointer by Jones to go ahead 12-4 with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. Down for much of the opening period, Becker went ahead 15-14 on a jumper from Harrison with 6:31 left in the second quarter, the Hawks' first lead of the game. A physical first half ended with Mitchell leading 25-23.
The second half featured another defensive struggle. Every time Becker appeared to have tied the game, the Mariners found an answer. Down by six with 2:52 left in the game, Harrison was fouled on a three-pointer and calmly buried all three shots to pull the Hawks to within three. Then after a Becker stop, Katey Anderson hit a three-pointer with 2:24 to go to tie it at 53-53. But Shepherd immediately answered with a three and the Mariners made their free throws down the stretch to hold off the Hawks.