BENNINGTON, Vt. – Mitchell College held Southern Vermont College to just a 21.5 percent field goal percentage during a 69-56 road victory at the Mountaineer Athletic Center Saturday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action.
Prior to the game, Southern Vermont honored graduating junior captain Jyline Varin (Sharon Springs, N.Y.) for her three years as a Mountaineer.
SVC sophomore guard Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) paced all players with 20 points, adding nine rebounds, three assists and three steals to her line. The Mariners had three players reach double-digits in the points column with freshman guard Jessica Shepherd (West Hartford, Conn.) leading the team at 15; she also chipped in with four assists and three rebounds. Mitchell freshman forward Caycee Williams (Torrington, Conn.) tabbed a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards in the win.
Mountaineer sophomore Javasha White (Schenectady, N.Y.) just missed out on the double-double with nine points and nine rebounds while sophomore guard Mariah Anthony (Northfield, Mass.) added 11 points and six caroms. Sophomore forward Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) finished the day with eight rebounds and three blocks.
Sophomore Toshina Jessamy (Hartford, Conn.) had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists off the Mariner bench while freshman guard Samantha Ryan (Quaker Hill, Conn.) had a game-best five assists. Senior guard Kate Mulloy (Gardner, Mass.) helped the cause with nine points and 12 rebounds on the day.
Rebounding and turnovers were even as the teams recorded 53 and 17 apiece, respectively, but Mitchell notched 26 points in the paint to Southern Vermont's six. The Mariners finished the day with a 38.8 field goal percentage (26-67) while going 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) from three-point range.
The Mountaineers kept the game close through the opening nine minutes with Mitchell holding just a three-point lead after Flagg was fouled while knocking down a trey. She converted the four-point play to make it a 12-9 Mariner advantage with 11:39 to go in the first. A minute later, SVC freshman Amber Dow (Panton, Vt.) hit two free throws to close it to 13-12 in favor of the visitors.
From there, however, Mitchell took over with a 14-0 run to take a 27-12 lead, providing a comfortable cushion that the Mariners would not relinquish. Jessamy scored eight points during that stretch, including two three-pointers, while the run was capped by a pair of lay-ins by Williams.
The Mountaineers would not go quietly as they took to a 10-2 run of their own to cut the lead to just 29-22 with 1:43 to play in the opening frame. Mitchell baskets by Ryan and sophomore forward Amanda Garcia (New Britain, Conn.) the closed out the half for the Mariners to increase their lead to 33-22 heading into the locker room.
MC held Southern Vermont to just a 16.7 field goal percentage (5-30) in the period while Ryan led all players at the break with 13 points.
After play resumed, neither team saw early success in finding offensive rhythm as the first 2:35 ticked off the clock without a score. SVC then started making a move with baskets by Anthony and Varin to make it a 33-26 ballgame. But the Mariners continued to be efficient when needed and kept their distance from the hosts.
The closest Southern Vermont would get was when the Mountaineers trailed by six at 43-37 following a Flagg free throw at the 9:44 mark. MC would eventually go up by as many as 15 (62-47) with just over three minutes left and made the most of trips to the charity stripe en route to the 69-56 victory.
The Mariners (15-8, 15-2 NECC) now set their sights on a Wednesday contest at Regis College slated for 6 p.m. in their regular season finale. The Mountaineers finish the season with a 6-19 overall record, going 4-14 in the NECC.
Southern Vermont saw a slew of school records in the 2013-14 season. MacKenzie recorded 77 blocks, besting the record of 60 that she set last year and giving her 137 for her career, also an SVC high. Flagg finished with 92 assists, putting her at second-most for a single season and career (149). Flagg also totaled 427 points this year, just three shy of her mark from 2012-13, good enough to tie for fourth-most in a season by a Mountaineer. She also sits at second for the most career steals (132) and three-pointers (82) through her first two years at SVC. Additionally, the sophomore captain now holds the program record for the best career free-throw percentage by a player with at least 250 attempts, currently sitting with a 78.3 clip (281-359) to top SVC Hall of Famer Denise Welch who finished her career at 70.2 percent (224-319).
SVC Head Coach Mike Quinn (left center) and President Gross (far left) present Jyline Varin with Senior Day gifts in company with her father (far right)