NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College held on late to post a 59-55 victory over Newbury College on Wednesday night in a New England Collegiate Conference women's basketball clash at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners led by as many as 17 points in the second half and were up by 14 with 6:14 to play before the Nighthawks made a late charge. Newbury twice pulled within three in the final minute but couldn't complete the comeback.
Le'Sandra Turner led all scorers with a season-high 17 points to pace Mitchell, which remained unbeaten in league play. She also grabbed eight rebounds to go with a steal and an assist. Kelsey Hernandez chipped in with 11 points while Ramzie Jones added nine points and six rebounds off the bench.
Savannah Olsen led Newbury with 13 points and nine rebounds while Precious Montgomery contributed 12 points.
Mitchell never trailed in the contest and outscored Newbury 18-10 in the opening quarter. After the Nighthawks rallied back to cut the deficit to one midway through the second period, the Mariners closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 34-23 lead into the locker room at the break. Turner led all scorers with 10 points at intermission.
Mitchell enjoyed a double-digit lead for the entire third quarter and took an 11-point advantage into the final stanza. Both teams went scoreless for nearly four minutes in the fourth, though a lay-up by Jones put the Mariners up 48-34 with 6:14 to go.
Newbury got back into the game in the blink of an eye, forcing three straight Mitchell turnovers and cashing in on the offensive end. A bucket by Olsen capped a 7-0 run and made it a 48-41 game with 5:17 remaining.
The Mariners recovered and got a pair of free throws from Turner on their next possession to right the ship. However, Newbury kept inching closer in the waning minutes of the game, eventually cutting the deficit to 55-52 on a three by Tatianna Occena with 26 seconds to play.
Mitchell made free throws down the stretch—three by Hernandez and one by Marissa Sweeney—to keep Newbury at bay. The Mariners shot 25-for-39 from the charity stripe on the night.
Mitchell (3-3 overall, 3-0 NECC) will next play at New England College on Saturday, December 8 at 1 p.m. Newbury (5-3 overall, 3-2 NECC) returns to action at home against Becker College on Friday, December 7 at 7 p.m.