NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team dropped a 58-56 decision to Becker College on Saturday afternoon on the final day of New England Collegiate Conference regular season play at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Cassidy Harrison scored the go-ahead basket with 1.7 seconds remaining to snap a 56-56 tie. She finished with a game-high 24 points to go with five rebounds and five steals in 40 minutes of work. Adrianna Dowdy chipped in with 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocks as the Hawks improved to 15-10 overall (11-5 NECC).
Allegra Jones came off the bench to pace Mitchell (12-13 overall, 11-5 NECC) with 20 points and shot 6-for-13 from three-point range. Francesca Pinard contributed a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds while Marissa Sweeney finished with four points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Mitchell held a 23-20 lead at intermission after both teams struggled offensively in the second quarter. Harrison kept the Hawks close with nine points in the half, while Pinard led the Mariners with eight.
The game was tied at 29-29 midway through the third when Mitchell exploded for 10 straight points. Jones hit a pair of threes during the stretch, and a lay-up by Pinard capped the run and put the Mariners up 39-29 with 3:41 to go in the stanza.
Becker closed the gap in the final 3:18 of the third, outscoring the Mariners 9-1 to make it 40-38 heading into the final period. Dowdy accounted for five points in the spurt.
In the fourth quarter, the Hawks took their first lead of the game at 47-45 on a bucket by Dowdy with 5:19 to go. Mitchell swiped the lead back a minute later on a three by Jones, and on the next possession she followed with a jumper to extend the margin to three.
The final minute provided plenty of drama. A jumper by Katey Anderson tied the game at 53-53, and 27 seconds later she added a pair of free throws to put the Hawks up two. After a Mitchell miss, Jazlyn Contreras hit one of two at the line to pad the margin to three with 17 seconds left.
After a timeout to advance the ball, Mitchell ran a play for Jones on the wing. Her initial look was denied by a swarm of defenders, but a dribble to her left provided an open window, and she launched a three that banked off the glass and in to tie the game with 7.8 seconds remaining.
Becker used its final timeout to advance the ball and set up the game-winning play. The ball went to Dowdy on the wing, and she dropped a pass over the top of the defense for the cutting Harrison and the winning lay-up.
Harrison scored nine points in the fourth quarter while Dowdy chipped in six. Jones accounted for Mitchell's final 11 points in the contest.
Despite the loss, Mitchell has earned the second seed and a first-round bye for next week's NECC Championship. Becker, the three seed, will host sixth-seeded Lesley University on Tuesday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play at Mitchell on Thursday, February 22 at 7 p.m.