MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's basketball team fell to Wesleyan University by a 76-67 final on Friday night in the first game of the Courtyard Tournament.
Caleigh Ryan recorded her second consecutive double-double to lead the Cardinals, who improved to 4-0 on the season. Ryan dropped a game-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while also recording four steals. Wesleyan moves on to the tournament finals and will play against Emerson College on Saturday, November 24 at 3 p.m.
The Mariners (1-2 overall) were led by Amina Wiley's 18 points. Mitchell will play Wellesley College in the consolation game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Both teams struggled offensively in the opening minutes. At the 4:48 mark, Le'Sandra Turner hit a jumper to put the visitors on top, 6-5. However, a pair of free throws by Ryan on the other end gave Wesleyan the lead and it never looked back. Maddie Clark hit three consecutive 3-pointers for the Cardinals as the home team went on a 12-5 run in the final 4:29 of the quarter to lead 17-11 after one.
The Mariners scored the first four points of the second quarter to cut the deficit to two. The teams went back and forth throughout the second with Mitchell getting within two on three occasions, but were unable to gain a lead. After a trey by Kelsey Hernandez made it a 26-24 Wesleyan lead with 2:05 to play in the half, Clark answered roughly 40 seconds later with a three-pointer and Ryan extended the lead to seven shortly after. However, Leilani McClellan hit a basket with only six seconds remaining as the Cardinals went into halftime with a 31-26 advantage.
It was a different story early in the third as Wesleyan opened on a 15-7 run to go ahead by 13 with 6:22 on the clock. Marina Petruzzi hit nine of the team's 15 points during the run. The Mariners didn't back down, however, as they answered with a run of their own and scored 15 of the next 20 points to get within three late in the quarter, but a basket by Ava Tompkins before time expired gave the Cardinals a 53-48 lead entering the fourth.
Mitchell got within three again with 7:18 to play following a layup from Turner. It proved to be the closest the visitors would get the rest of the way. Wesleyan answered with a 9-1 run as a pair of free throws from Ryan gave the Cardinals a 65-54 advantage with 3:29 to play. The deficit proved to be too much for the Mariners to overcome as Wesleyan claimed the nine-point victory.
Wiley was joined in double figures by Hernandez with 17 and McClellan with 10. McClellan also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and Inanna Rice recorded four steals.