NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College took control early in the second half en route to a 75-56 victory over Bay Path College in New England Collegiate Conference action on Thursday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Freshman Amanda Garcia scored a season-high 20 points and added a team-best 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks to lead the Mariners (4-14 overall, 4-8 NECC). Senior Kaylee Cerruto also notched a double-double—the first of her career—with 14 points and a career-high 11 assists.
Bay Path's Kayla Skiffington led all scorers with 27 points and stuffed the stat sheet with 12 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. The Wildcats dropped to 9-9 overall and 6-6 in conference play.
Mitchell got off to a quick start, using a 13-0 run to grab a 17-5 lead just over six minutes into the contest. Freshman Diamond Thomas hit a lay-up and two jumpers during the stretch to pace the Mariners.
Bay Path didn't stay down for long, fighting its way back behind a 12-2 spurt over a 2:21 span. Skiffington was the catalyst down low, fighting for every loose ball and earning multiple trips to the foul line. She scored seven points in the run—including five from the charity stripe—and pulled the Wildcats to within one at 22-21 with 7:52 to play in the half.
Bay Path later pulled ahead on a lay-up by Anna Meyer, but the Mariners settled down to close out the half strong. Mitchell regained the lead on a lay-up by Cerruto with 1:39 to go and took a slim 36-35 advantage into the halftime break. Skiffington had 17 points at intermission to lead all scorers while senior Suzie Barbosa led Mitchell with 11.
Mitchell seized control of the game just four minutes into the second half. The Mariners scored 11 straight points to take a 51-41 lead that they never relinquished, with Thomas contributing five points to set the pace. Bay Path never got any closer than seven points the rest of the way and trailed by double digits for the final 6:14.
The Mariners shot 40 percent for the game but attempted 26 more shots than the Wildcats by forcing 25 turnovers. The result was a 30-13 edge in points off turnovers for the home team.
Garcia played all 20 minutes of the second half and scored 17 of her 20 points after the break. Thomas and Barbosa also finished in double figures to give the Mariners four double-digit scorers. Thomas racked up 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals before fouling out in the game's final minute. Barbosa chipped in with career highs of 16 points and five assists.
Skiffington's 27 points came on 8-for-17 shooting from the floor and an 11-for-16 effort at the line. Katherine Chabot added eight points while Gladys Reed pulled down 10 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 34 percent as a team and held a 46-44 edge on the glass.
Mitchell will next play at Elms College on Saturday, February 2 at 4 p.m. Bay Path returns to action at home against Newbury College on Saturday at 1 p.m.