NEW LONDON, Conn. – Wentworth Institute of Technology escaped with a 69-68 victory over Mitchell College on Tuesday night in a non-conference men's basketball showdown at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Kevin Fernandez buried a go-ahead three with under four seconds remaining to put the Leopards on top for good, and Mitchell later missed on the potential game winner as time expired. Fernandez finished with 11 points while Stephen Azums led all scorers with 21 points and added 11 rebounds.
Jacob Tully paced Mitchell with a career-high 16 points and shot 4-for-4 from three-point range. Hasani Williams chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds while Alfonzo Stokes came off the bench to score 13 points in only nine minutes.
Wentworth led by as many as eight points in the first half, but Mitchell whittled the margin down late in the stanza and trailed only 34-32 at the break. Azums led all scorers with 10 points at intermission.
The Leopards didn't trail in the second half until the 2:34 mark. After a three-point play by Williams tied the game at 61-61, Dra Harrison made one of two at the line to push the Mariners in front.
The lead changed hands twice more before a steal by Stokes resulted in a layup and a 66-63 lead for the Mariners with 1:02 to go. On their ensuing possession, however, the Leopards went to Azums in the post, and he delivered a three-point play to tie the game once again.
Stokes provided another big bucket to give Mitchell its final lead with 23 ticks left on the clock. He drove down the right side of the lane and pulled up for a short jumper that made it 68-66.
Wentworth called a timeout to set up its final possession, and Fernandez ended up with the ball on the left wing. He pump-faked a defender before stepping to his right and burying the go-ahead trey, his only make from long range in the contest.
Mitchell got the ball over half court before calling timeout with one second remaining. The Mariners then went to Williams for the final crack at the win, but his attempt came up short. Depite contact on the shot, no foul was called and the Leopards walked off with the victory.
Mitchell (1-4 overall) will next host Albertus Magnus College on Wednesday, December 4 at 6 p.m. Wentworth (6-1 overall) will next play at Emmanuel College on Sunday, December 1 at 4 p.m.