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Defense Keys Late Run as WBB Tops Bay Path

Defense Keys Late Run as WBB Tops Bay Path

NEW LONDON, Conn. – A fourth-quarter spurt propelled the Mitchell College women's basketball team to a 69-58 victory over Bay Path University on Monday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

The Mariners (5-7 overall, 4-3 NECC) seized control behind a 10-0 run that left them with a 61-52 lead with 2:11 remaining in the contest. Mitchell's defense was stellar during the stretch, holding Bay Path without a point for 4:38 while forcing four steals and a block.

Francesca Pinard netted a season-high 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting to pace the Mariners, who picked up their fourth win in five games. Amanda Garcia and Diamond Thomas each came off the bench to score in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively, while Ashleigh Beauford dished out a career-best eight assists.

Bay Path's Dallas Jackson led all scorers with 21 points and added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Elizabeth Haylette notched a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds while Kaylee Herring chipped in with 11 points.

In the first quarter, Mitchell opened up a seven-point lead thanks to an 8-0 run that featured baskets from four different players. Bay Path answered by scoring 10 of the next 13 points—including threes by both Herring and Brenna Roy—to close the gap in the final minutes of the stanza, which ended with the Mariners clinging to a 17-16 lead.

The story was similar in the second quarter as Mitchell bumped the lead to eight in the early stages before Bay Path rallied back. The Wildcats went ahead 29-28 on a layup by Jackson with 2:13 to go in the half, and right before intermission she connected on a jumper that tied the game at 33-33.

The Wildcats led for nearly all of the third quarter thanks to a 9-2 run early in the stanza. Herring gave Bay Path its biggest lead of the day at 44-37 when she drained a three with 5:11 to play in the period. However, Mitchell clawed back behind an 8-0 run to erase the deficit. The stretch included three buckets by Pinard—all in the paint—as the Mariners reclaimed the lead.

Mitchell trailed 52-51 with 6:37 to play in the fourth when Thomas jumpstarted things with her defense. She drilled a jumper to put the Mariners in front for good, and then came away with steals on the next two Bay Path possessions. A block by Garcia on the defensive end led to a fast-break layup for Pinard, and Thomas followed with her third steal of the stanza. Later on a three-point play by Garcia put the Mariners up seven, and a steal and feed by Kate McCormack yielded another fast-break score for Pinard.

Mitchell forced 20 turnovers for the game and turned those miscues into 21 points. The Mariners also outscored the Wildcats in the paint (38-18) and in transition (21-5).

Mitchell will next host Newbury College on Wednesday, January 20 at 6 p.m. Bay Path (3-10 overall, 0-6 NECC) returns to action at Becker College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.