DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The Mitchell College men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with a 91-82 victory over Lehman College on Friday night in the opening round of the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament.
Steffen Brunson led four Mitchell players in double figures with 24 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Domenico Santiago (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Hasani Williams (17 points, 12 rebounds) each added double-doubles while Landon Peabody came off the bench to contribute 14 points.
The Mariners built a pair of seven-point first-half leads only to see Lehman (0-2 overall) storm back to take a three-point edge (44-41) on Raheim Grant's lay-in with 1:40 remaining in the first half. However, Brunson's three-pointer in the closing seconds gave Mitchell a 46-44 edge at the break. Brunson supplied 22 points in the stanza and drained four three-pointers to keep the Mariners in the game.
The teams were separated by no more than four points in the opening 9:36 after intermission until the Mariners used an 11-3 run over a 3:28 stretch to grab its largest advantage of the day (76-64) on Peabody's jumper with 7:56 remaining in the contest. The Lightning responded with a 13-4 run over the next four-plus minutes to close back to within a bucket (82-80) on a pair of free throws by Will Feldman with 3:23 to go, but lay-ins from Santiago and Williams kept the Mariners in front. Peabody and Connel Henderson later followed with free throws that iced Mitchell's triumph.
Santiago, who sat for extended stretches due to foul trouble, shot 8-for-10 from the floor. As a team the Mariners shot an even 50 percent (36-for-72) from the field and connected for eight three-pointers on the day.
Miguel Haboosh matched Brunson's scoring output with 24 points, nine rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists to lead four players in double figures for Lehman. Isaiah Geathers added a double-double effort of 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lightning, who received 12 points from Tommy Batista along with 10 points and four caroms from Grant. Lehman shot 44 percent from the floor (32-for-72) and canned 11 from behind the arc.
Mitchell will face either host UMass Dartmouth or Clark University on Saturday afternoon in the title game of the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament.