NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College men's basketball team secured a postseason berth with a 96-74 victory over Newbury College on Thursday night in New England Collegiate Conference play at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Mitchell won its third straight league game to improve to 7-17 overall and 7-8 in the NECC. The win puts the Mariners in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings with one regular season game remaining. The top six teams earn a berth in next week's NECC Championship.
Geary McLeod came off the bench to lead five Mariners in double figures with 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting. He also finished with nine rebounds and a game-high six steals. Brayvon Young had a big night as well with 21 points on 9-for-18 shooting.
Three Mitchell players recorded double-doubles in the contest. Domenico Santiago scored 19 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. Hasani Williams finished with 10 points and 15 boards before fouling out while Alan Morgan turned in 13 points and a game-high 12 assists.
Daivon Edwards led Newbury (3-20 overall, 3-12 NECC) with 22 points on 8-for-19 shooting. Jeduan Langston added 17 points and a team-high 16 rebounds.
Mitchell led from start to finish but fended off Newbury several times along the way. The Mariners scored the game's first six points en route to an 18-6 lead just six minutes in, only to see the Nighthawks charge back to cut it to two over the next two minutes.
Mitchell stayed in front thanks to 12 first-half points from Young and 10 apiece by Santiago and McLeod. The Mariners built the lead back to double digits late in the half and took a 53-45 edge into the locker room at intermission. Edwards scored 11 points in the stanza to lead the Nighthawks.
Newbury cut the deficit down to one after a layup by Langston made it 59-58 just five minutes into the second half. Mitchell called a timeout to recover, and on the next possession Santiago found Williams under the hoop for an easy bucket. The next trip down the floor, Williams grabbed three straight offensive rebounds before a put-back pushed the lead back to five.
The Nighthawks later trimmed it back to one on a three-point play by Langston, who gave the Mariners fits by consistently working his way into the lane and finishing. However, Mitchell responded with 11 straight points to bump the lead back to double digits. McLeod, Morgan and Young all hit threes during the spurt which left the Mariners on top 76-64 with 9:06 to go.
Newbury never got closer than nine the rest of the way, and Mitchell slowly built the lead to as many as 22. The Mariners owned a 57-45 advantage on the glass and outscored Newbury 22-11 in transition.
Mitchell got good production off the bench from Victor Sampson, who finished with six points, two rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes.
Mitchell will close out the regular season at Becker College on Saturday, February 18 at 3 p.m. Newbury will next host Wheelock College on Saturday at 3 p.m.