NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team used a strong second half to post a 71-55 victory over Lesley University in New England Collegiate Conference action on Thursday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Mitchell (3-10 overall, 3-4 NECC) overcame a rough first half to outscore Lesley 46-22 in the second stanza. Senior Kaylee Cerruto (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) led four Mariners in double figures with 13 points and added four assists and five steals. Freshman Amanda Garcia (New Britain, Conn./New Britain) chipped in with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to post her third double-double of the season.
Sarah Apgar (Andover, N.J./Lenape Valley) and Kaleigh Gorman (East Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) each scored nine points to lead Lesley (1-12 overall, 0-7 NECC). Gorman also pulled down 12 rebounds. The Lynx shot just 17 percent in the second half after shooting 38% in the first.
Lesley started strong, scoring the game's first nine points before Mitchell got on the board just over three minutes in on a free throw by freshman Diamond Thomas (Hartford, Conn./Capital Preparatory Magnet). After the Lynx took a 10-point lead on a lay-up by Apgar, the Mariners reeled off a 13-3 run to get back into the game. Cerruto banged two threes during the stretch freshman Dazjavia Williams (Waterbury, Conn./Kaynor Technical) provided three points off the bench.
The Lynx never fell behind, though, and eventually built the lead back to 10 by the final moments of the half following back-to-back lay-ups by Alina Donato (Newton, Mass./Landmark) and Apgar. A pair of free throws by Garcia closed out the first-half scoring with Lesley holding a 33-25 lead at intermission. Mitchell shot just 17 percent in the first half while Lesley checked in at 38 percent.
The Mariners used a 12-3 start to the second half to take their first lead of the game, pulling ahead 37-36 on a jumper by junior Kate Mulloy (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) with 13:41 to play. Mitchell didn't stop there, quickly building the lead to double digits and then to as many as 22 with 5:19 remaining. A free throw by Thomas made it 65-43 in favor of the home team, and to that point the Mariners had outscored the Lynx 40-10 in the stanza.
The Mariners shot 37 percent in the second half and finished at 27 percent for the game. Thomas finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while Mulloy added 10 points and two blocks. Freshman Casey Davis (Verplanck, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) also contributed eight points and five rebounds off the bench.
The Lynx shot 29 percent for the contest. Shannon Baker (Lynnbrook, N.Y./Lynnbrook) added eight points while Donato finished with seven.
Mitchell will next play at Daniel Webster College on Saturday, January 19 at 1 p.m. Lesley returns to action at Bay Path College on Saturday at 1 p.m.