NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team picked up its first win of 2018 on Saturday afternoon, topping Wheelock College by a 50-37 final in New England Collegiate Conference play at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners (3-8 overall, 2-1 NECC) used a strong first half to lead by 13 at the break and never let the margin dip below double digits in the second half. Ashleigh Beauford tied a season high with 14 points to lead Mitchell while Marissa Sweeney added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Wheelock (2-6 overall, 2-2 NECC) shot just 27 percent for the game but got a solid outing from Katie Walsh, who finished with a game-high 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Ten of her 18 points came from the line, though she was the only Wildcats player to attempt a free throw in the contest.
Walsh drained the first basket of the game to put Wheelock on top in the opening minute, but Mitchell responded with a 15-0 run and never trailed again. Beauford drilled a pair of three-pointers and contributed eight points during the stretch, which also included a pair of buckets from Jordan Lohneiss and a lay-up by Sweeney.
After going scoreless for nearly seven minutes, the Wildcats recovered with a pair of baskets in the final 2:15 of the period to trail 15-6 entering the second. Sweeney provided Mitchell's first five points of the stanza to push the lead to 20-8, and a late three by Allegra Jones made it 25-12 at intermission.
In the second half, a three by Lohneiss gave Mitchell its largest lead of the game at 30-13 with 6:10 remaining in the third. The Mariners carried a 17-point margin into the final period and never let the Wildcats within striking distance, closing out the game with a 23-9 scoring edge in points off turnovers.
Mitchell will next host Bay Path University on Tuesday, January 9 at 6 p.m. Wheelock returns to action at home against Lesley University on Thursday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m.