HOLYOKE, Mass. - The Mitchell College women's basketball team earned its first victory of the season by a 65-59 final over Bay Path University on Thursday night in New England Collegiate Conference action at the HCC Bartley Center.
The Mariners (1-4 overall, 1-1 NECC) trailed 46-44 heading into the fourth quarter but outscored the Wildcats 21-13 over the final 10 minutes. Francesca Pinard led Mitchell with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting while Jessica Shepherd added 13 points, eight of which came in the final stanza. Camille Staggers also finished just shy of a double-double with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
A jump shot by Tori Weatherwax that beat the first quarter buzzer gave Mitchell an 18-8 lead after one period of play. Bay Path rallied back in the second quarter and cut the deficit to one before a layup by Pinard and a three-pointer by Weatherwax gave the Mariners a 33-29 advantage at the break.
A cold start by Mitchell to start the second half allowed the Wildcats to take over the lead. The Mariners went 4:28 without a point before Weatherwax buried a jumper to tie the game at 35-35. Bay Path pulled back in front and built the lead to as many as eight, although Mitchell answered with six straight points to end the quarter and trimmed the deficit to 46-44.
The Mariners carried the momentum into the fourth as Pinard tied the game on the opening possession and Shepherd followed with a three-ball and a jumper the next two trips down the floor. Moments later, Staggers added a bucket to make it 53-46, and Mitchell never let the lead slip out of its grip.
The Mariners shot a season-high 41 percent from the floor and turned the ball over a season-low 20 times. Weatherwax finished with a season-high nine points off the bench to contribute to Mitchell's 23-13 advantage in bench scoring.
Mitchell will next host Elms College on Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m.