NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College men's basketball team posted a 90-77 victory over Lesley University on Wednesday night in a New England Collegiate Conference showdown at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners improved to 13-11 overall (9-4 NECC) and moved into sole possession of second place in the conference standings with one game remaining in the regular season. The top two teams in the league receive a first-round bye in next week's NECC Championship. The Lynx dropped to 12-12 overall and 7-6 in league play.
Brayvon Young paced Mitchell on Senior Night with a career-high 29 points and shot 5-for-8 from long range. Domenico Santiago added a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds while Hasani Williams came off the bench to score 10 points. Alan Morgan finished with five points and a game-high 11 assists.
Joey Martin led five Lesley players in double digits with 20 points and had six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Jordan Bellitti chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds while William Cuffee had 13 points and nine boards. Marquise Johnson and Nathaniel Chambers rounded out the top scorers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The first half was closely contested until a 10-1 run put Mitchell on top 34-25 with 5:07 remaining in the period. Young banged back-to-back triples during the stretch while Williams capped the spurt with a fast-break lay-up.
Lesley spent the remainder of the half chipping away at the lead, ultimately whittling the deficit down to 40-37 by the break. Santiago had 15 points in the stanza to lead all scorers while Young and Martin each had 13.
The Mariners never trailed in the second half and saw their lead hit double digits on a bucket by Young at the 16:14 mark. Later on in the period, an 11-0 run pushed the Mitchell lead to 19, and minutes later the margin peaked at 74-53 following a jumper by Steffen Brunson with 7:21 to go.
Lesley responded with eight straight points to shrink the deficit to 13 and got as close as 11 following a three from Chambers with 2:58 to play. However, Young answered back with his final three of the night to get the Mariners back on track. The three-pointer was also the 66th of the season for the Mitchell senior, breaking the school's Division III single season record.
Young and Morgan weren't the only Mitchell seniors to enjoy solid games. Nana Nkrumah made his first start of the season and responded with a career-high eight points to go with two rebounds and a steal. Colizel Lewis also got the starting nod and contributed three points and a rebound. The group, including the injured Mack Bertram-Gregory, was honored prior to the game in a special ceremony.
Mitchell will close out the regular season at Becker College on Saturday, February 17 at 1 p.m. Lesley returns to action at home against Elms College on Saturday at 5 p.m.