NEW LONDON, Conn. – Cedar Crest College held on for a 53-49 victory over Mitchell College on Monday night in a non-conference women's basketball showdown at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Mitchell trailed by as many as eight in the fourth quarter before rallying back to within three in the final minute. The Mariners twice forced turnovers for a chance at the tying bucket, but each time they immediately gave the ball back before getting off an attempt.
Geminii Cabrera led all scorers with 19 points and added nine rebounds to pace the Falcons, who won their second straight game to improve to 2-5 on the season. Natasha Barber added 14 points and three steals while Meghan Gregory came off the bench to contribute 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Marissa Sweeney netted a season-high 14 points and added nine rebounds and five assists to lead Mitchell (1-5 overall). Ashleigh Beauford chipped in with 12 points and seven boards while Kate McCormack finished with nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Neither team led by more than three in the first quarter as Mitchell took a slim 16-15 margin into the second stanza. The Mariners then scored eight straight points to open the period, taking their largest lead of the night on a lay-up by Jessica Lohneiss that made it 24-15 with 6:25 to go in the half.
Cedar Crest closed the gap in the final 5:26 before intermission, outscoring Mitchell by a 9-2 margin. A three-pointer by Sylera Weller capped the scoring and pulled the Falcons to within two at the break (26-24).
The score remained tight for most of the third. A lay-up by Haley Garcia knotted the game at 32-32 with 3:22 remaining, but it would be Mitchell's last field goal until midway through the fourth quarter. Cedar Crest took advantage of the scoring drought, building its lead to eight by the early stages of the final period.
After going 8:45 of game time without a field goal, the Mariners got back on track with a bucket by Garcia that cut the deficit to four with 4:37 to play. The Falcons never gave up the lead, however, as Khnaue Robinson and Weller each supplied lay-ups to keep Mitchell at bay.
Trailing by three, the Mariners failed to take advantage of a pair of turnovers in the final 35 seconds. The first came on a sideline inbounds play when the Falcons had trouble getting the ball in. Allegra Jones ended up with a steal but overthrew a pass to Garcia on a fastbreak attempt. Cedar Crest then turned the ball over again on the ensuing inbounds play under their own basket, but Weller came up with a steal before the Mariners could get up a shot.
The Falcons shot 16-for-24 from the free throw line for the game and went 8-for-10 in the final 1:27 to close out the victory. Cabrera led the charge with an 11-for-14 effort from the stripe.
Mitchell will next play at Western Connecticut State University on Wednesday, December 6 at 6 p.m. Cedar Crest returns to action at home against Drew University on Friday, December 8 at 6 p.m.