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WBB Rallies Back to Clip Dean in NECC Opener

WBB Rallies Back to Clip Dean in NECC Opener

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College rallied back from a 15-point first-quarter deficit to post a 64-58 victory over Dean College on Tuesday night in New England Collegiate Conference women's basketball action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

The Mariners, who picked up their first win of the season, trailed 22-7 after the opening period. Mitchell trimmed the deficit to 32-27 by the break and took the lead late in the third quarter. The Mariners led by as many as nine in the fourth before the Bulldogs almost made a comeback of their own, getting to within two with 2:31 to go.

Jessica Lohneiss led all scorers with a career-high 17 points and shot 4-for-6 from long range to pace Mitchell. Francesca Pinard added 14 points, five rebounds and three steals while Amina Wiley finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points.

Makayla Rudder led Dean with 16 points and nine rebounds and also had four steals. Iindia Pina added 13 points and eight steals while Jamaya Cleveland chipped in 10 points and four assists.

The Bulldogs started the game on a 7-0 run and owned the opening quarter, shooting 44 percent as team. Rudder contributed eight points in the early going as Dean held Mitchell to just 3-for-12 shooting.

The Mariners responded by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter to cut the deficit by more than half. Ariana Carter had a bucket and free throw during the stretch while Lohneiss contributed a three. The Bulldogs eventually got the margin back to double digits on a three by Nicole Romero, but Mitchell closed the half on a 10-4 run to trail by only five at intermission.

In the waning moments of the third quarter, the Mariners tied the game at 42-42 thanks to a pair of free throws by Marissa Sweeney. The next trip down the floor, Sweeney delivered another pair of freebies to give Mitchell its first lead. After another Lohneiss three extended the margin to five, a free throw by Rudder and a steal and layup by Pina left the home team with a 47-45 lead heading into the final quarter.

Pina tied the game at 47-47 in the opening minute of the fourth, but Ramzie Jones answered with a bucket on the other end to put Mitchell in front for good. Later in the period, a layup by Pinard gave the Mariners their largest lead at 58-49 with 4:51 to go, and it looked like Mitchell would cruise to the finish. However, Dean answered back with a 7-0 run that was capped by a steal by Pina and a fast-break layup by Romero that made it a 58-56 with 2:31 to play.

Over the next 1:40, the Bulldogs had three chances to either tie or take the lead but couldn't come up with points. Lohneiss then supplied a dagger three-pointer with 49 seconds remaining that put Mitchell up five, and she closed out the game with three free throws in the final 23 seconds to ice the victory.

Mitchell used 45-percent shooting to overcome 34 turnovers. The Mariners also shot 18-for-25 from the charity stripe led by a 6-for-8 effort from Pinard.

Mitchell (1-2 overall, 1-0 NECC) will next host Connecticut College on Tuesday, November 27 at 6 p.m. Dean (0-4 overall, 0-1 NECC) returns to action at home against Southern Vermont College on Saturday, November 24 at 2 p.m.