NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College men's basketball team picked up its third straight win on Wednesday night with an 86-69 victory over Elms College in New England Collegiate Conference action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners led from the opening basket to the final buzzer and improved to 11-9 overall and 7-2 in league play. Hasani Williams put up a game-high 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Mitchell. Steffen Brunson chipped in 18 points while Brayvon Young added 17, and Domenico Santiago finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Greg Metelus netted 27 points on 12-for-22 shooting to pace the Blazers (1-18 overall, 1-8 NECC). D.J. Edelen and Michal Ohradka came off the bench to contribute 12 and 10 points, respectively. Edelen also pulled down a team-high nine boards while Ohradka handed out four assists.
Mitchell scored on its first three possessions of the game and never looked back. Brunson got things rolling by making a back-door cut for an easy lay-up. Young then followed with a steal and uncontested lay-up, and Williams added a bucket in the paint to make it 6-0 after 1:32.
The Mariners widened the gap to as many as 15 in the stanza, taking a 25-10 lead on a fast-break lay-up by Colizel Lewis with 11:40 remaining in the half. However, Mitchell then went more than six minutes without a score, allowing the Blazers to claw back into the game. Elms scored 11 straight points during the drought and made it 25-21 on a lay-up by Tyler Sterling with 5:42 to go.
Mitchell snapped out of the funk thanks to a three by Brunson, one of four for the junior forward in the opening half. Matt Finke and Young also drilled threes in the final four minutes of the period as the Mariners pushed the lead to 48-32 by intermission. Mitchell shot 6-for-11 from deep in the half and checked in at 59 percent from the field.
Elms trailed by double digits for the majority of the second half. The Blazers got as close as nine when Edelen buried a three to make it 57-48 with 14:26 remaining, but the Mariners answered back on the next possession with a jumper by Lewis to push the margin back to 11.
Mitchell shot 51 percent for the game and held a 22-11 scoring edge in points off turnovers. The Mariners also got to the free throw line 29 times and outscored the Blazers 21-8 at the charity stripe. Elms shot 42 percent as a team and committed 15 turnovers.
Mitchell will next play at Dean College on Saturday, February 3 at 3 p.m. Elms will next host Newbury College on Saturday at 3 p.m.