NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College men's basketball team stayed unbeaten on the young season with an 88-71 victory over the Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Junior Joshua Ford scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Mariners (3-0 overall) to victory. It also marked the first time the Mitchell men's basketball program defeated city-rival Coast Guard.
Juniors Anthony Epps and Alex Del Rio also had big games for Mitchell. Epps finished with 22 points and went 8-for-8 from the free throw line while Del Rio notched his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-best 10 assists.
Greg Marshall and David Anderson each scored 22 points to lead Coast Guard (1-2 overall). Anderson added a game-high 10 rebounds while Eli Sponseller finished with 10 points.
The first half was close throughout. Mitchell took its biggest lead at 21-14 with 12:41 to play in the stanza following a three-pointer and lay-up from Epps. The Bears responded with a 13-0 run over the next 3:12 to take their largest lead at 27-21. Anderson scored six points during the stretch while Jimmy Knudsen added a three-pointer and two free throws.
Mitchell scored seven of the next eight points to make it a tie game, and the score remained close until the halftime buzzer. A fastbreak lay-up by Del Rio in the closing seconds of the half put Mitchell on top 44-42 at the break. Anderson led all scorers with 14 points at intermission while Ford had 12.
Foul trouble plagued Coast Guard in the second half and was a major factor in the outcome. The Mariners were in the bonus with 11:15 remaining and finished 19-for-23 from the stripe in the second half.
Mitchell used a 9-0 run to pull ahead for good and took a 62-55 lead with 9:22 to go. The Bears never got any closer than five points the rest of the way, as the Mariners controlled the tempo and got to the line frequently. Mitchell shot 13-for-15 from the charity stripe in the final 7:13 to seal the victory.
The Mariners shot 50 percent for the contest and forced 18 turnovers. Epps scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half while Ford had 12. Freshman Devonta Mosley scored 11 points, all in the first half.
Mitchell will next play at Albertus Magnus College on Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.m.