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MBB Drops NECC Opener to Eastern Nazarene

MBB Drops NECC Opener to Eastern Nazarene

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College dropped a 79-71 decision to Eastern Nazarene College on Saturday afternoon in the New England Collegiate Conference men's basketball action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

Six Lions scored in double figures led by David Lopez with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Rice added 13 points while Jacob Waldroop finished with 12 points and six assists. Garrett Crandell and Ricky Shearman each chipped in with 11 points while Levi Grady-White came off the bench to supply 10 points and seven boards.

Steffen Brunson led Mitchell with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. Domenico Santiago grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds to notch a double-double with 15 points, and Hasani Williams contributed 14 points and seven boards. Landon Peabody netted 12 points—all from beyond the arc—to round out the double-figure scorers.

After the teams opened the game by trading early buckets, ENC built a 15-point lead behind an 18-3 run that featured threes from Waldroop and Rice and old-fashioned three-point plays from Shearman and Crandell.

Later in the half, Mitchell trimmed the deficit down to five on a three-pointer by Peabody and a jumper by Santiago. However, Lopez drilled a three on the ensuing possession to bump the ENC lead back to eight. The Lions led 40-29 at the break after shooting 50 percent from the floor in the stanza.

In the second half, the Mariners fought hard but failed to make up much ground. A jumper by Williams brought the deficit back to single digits at 48-39 with 15:24 to go, but Rice answered with a trey on the other end, and the Lions didn't let the margin dip below double figures again until the game's final bucket.

Lopez and Rice each scored 10 points in the second half to help keep the Mariners at bay. The Lions shot 47 percent for the game and committed only 11 turnovers. Mitchell, which shot 40 percent, turned the ball over only 11 times as well but shot 11-for-23 from the foul line.

Mitchell (1-3 overall, 0-1 NECC) will next host Elms College on Tuesday, December 4 at 6 p.m. Eastern Nazarene (2-4 overall, 1-0 NECC) returns to action at Southern Vermont College on Tuesday at 7 p.m.