FRANKLIN, Mass. -- The Mitchell College men's basketball team held on late to earn an 83-79 victory over Dean College on Saturday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference showdown at Pieri Gymnasium.
The Mariners snapped Dean's seven-game winning streak and improved to 10-6 overall and 5-3 in league action. The Bulldogs dropped to 11-5 overall and 6-2 in NECC play.
In a back-and-forth affair that featured 11 ties and seven lead changes, the Mariners made the necessary plays down the stretch. Tied at 64 with eight minutes remaining in the game, Mitchell scored nine of the next 11 points (with seven coming the bench) to wrestle control of the game. Marvin Baker's three pointer, followed by a layup and a triple from Landon Peabody, gave the Mariners a 74-65 lead with 5:21 remaining.
Dean responded with four points from Dayvon Russell and baskets from Jordan Booker and Sean Odum to narrow the deficit to two. Moments later, Josh Croskey hit two free throws to knot the score at 75 with two minutes to play.
A huge transition bucket from Steffen Brunson gave Mitchell a two-point lead with just over a minute remaining. Shortly after, two Brunson free throws pumped the advantage to four. A jumper from Booker closed the gap to two, but Brunson drilled two more free throws with seven seconds remaining to ice the game.
Neither team led by more than four points throughout the first 18 minutes of the first half, but Mitchell pulled away late in the opening period. Knotted at 27, Mitchell scored 11 of the next 13 points to create a 38-29 cushion with a minute and change to play. A buzzer beating lay-in from Booker cut the lead to 42-34 at the half.
Brunson finished with 27 points, four rebounds and seven assists while Domenico Santiago added 19 points and 14 rebounds, including three on the defensive glass in the final 2:06. Hasani Williams contributed a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards, and Peabody added 13 points in 21 minutes off the bench.
Booker finished with 27 points on 9-for-15 shooting while Russell contributed 24 points and five rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Armani Baker recorded his sixth straight double-double by scoring 12 points and snagging 12 boards. Odum added nine points and five rebounds while Croskey scored four and had seven boards.
Mitchell will next travel to Elms College on Tuesday, January 22 for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off.