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WBB Knocked Out by #3 Becker

WBB Knocked Out by #3 Becker

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Third-seeded Becker College held off second-seeded Mitchell College down the stretch to post a 50-42 victory in the semifinals of the 2019 New England Collegiate Conference Women's Basketball Championship on Thursday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

The Hawks (20-7 overall) will get a chance to defend their title on Saturday, February 21 at top-seeded New England College. Mitchell ends the season with a record of 17-10.

Sarah Ware paced Becker with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals in the victory. Adrianna Dowdy had 12 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double, and she also grabbed a game-high seven steals.

Kelsey Hernandez led all scorers with 18 points but was the only Mitchell player in double figures. Le'Sandra Turner and Amina Wiley finished with eight points apiece.

The Mariners led by as many as four early on, but the Hawks pulled even at 12-12 by the end of the first. Ware opened the second quarter with an offensive rebound and put back to give Becker the lead, and a minute later she splashed a three that ignited an 8-0 stretch that put the visitors in front for good.

Ware scored 12 points in the half as Becker led 26-20 at the break. Turner and Hernandez each had six points in the first stanza to keep the Mariners close.

Becker opened up an 11-point lead—its largest of the contest—by the 3:00 mark in the third. However, a three by Hernandez and a jumper by Turner cut the margin back to 35-29 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

Mitchell continued to whittle down the deficit in the early stages of the fourth quarter, clawing to within two on a pair of Wiley free throws with 7:42 to go. Just over a minute later, Hernandez drilled another three to make it a one-point game.

The score remained locked at 37-36 for a three-minute stretch that saw Mitchell come up empty on five straight possessions for a chance to take the lead. Cassidy Harrison finally snapped the scoring drought with a jumper to give the Hawks a three-point cushion, and Ware followed with a pair from the charity stripe to extend the lead to five.

After Mitchell fought back to within three, a three-point play by Dowdy all but sealed the win for the Hawks with 1:22 to play. Becker then salted the game away with six points from the free throw line, all in the final 47 seconds.