NEW LONDON, Conn. – A strong first quarter fueled Pine Manor College to an 81-65 victory over Mitchell College on Thursday night in non-conference women's basketball action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Gators jumped on the Mariners early, outscoring them 21-5 over the game's first 10 minutes. The 16-point cushion ultimately proved to be the final margin as the teams played even over the final three quarters.
Pine Manor's Shaquanda Middleton led all scorers with 23 points and filled out the stat sheet with 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Nakazja Holley added 15 points and seven steals while Erica Jones came off the bench to add 13 points and seven assists. Shaneka Monroe rounded out the Gators in double figures with 10 points and also grabbed seven boards.
Francesca Pinard paced Mitchell with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Allegra Jones and Haley Garcia each chipped in 12 points while Kate McCormack handed out 10 assists. Jessica Lohneiss also had a solid outing off the bench with nine points—all from long range—to go with six assists.
Mitchell scored the first five points of the contest as Allegra Jones buried a three and Pinard tacked on a lay-up. However, Pine Manor responded by scoring 21 straight over the final 6:32 of the stanza. The Gators used full-court pressure to force eight turnovers during the stretch, resulting in easy baskets in transition.
In the second quarter, Pine Manor pumped the lead to 22 following a three by Holley with 4:27 to go before the half. Erica Jones later buried a triple in the final minute to equal the margin as the Gators took a 48-26 lead into intermission.
The Pine Manor lead ballooned to as many as 35 in the second half, although a late run by the Mariners cut the deficit in half by the final buzzer. Mitchell scored 19 straight points to close out the game and outscored the Gators 24-14 in the fourth quarter.
Pine Manor shot 41 percent as a team and went 9-for-21 from three-point range. Mitchell checked in at 40 percent and hit a season-high nine threes.
Mitchell (8-10 overall) will next host Newbury College on Saturday, January 27 at 3 p.m. Pine Manor (6-13 overall) returns to action at Fisher College on Tuesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.