NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team cut a 20-point deficit all the way down to four at Mitchell College Saturday afternoon, but the hosting Mariners held on to take a 59-52 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) win at Yarnall Athletic Center.
MC led 36-19 at the halftime break before the Mountaineers started to chip away in the third quarter. However, after SVC outscored Mitchell 18-8 through most of the fourth frame to get it to a two-possession game, the hosts went 4-4 from the free throw line to stay ahead and finish off the victory.
Southern Vermont (3-20, 2-12 NECC) has two games left in the 2017-18 season—the first being the team's final home contest of the year in a 7 p.m. Thursday tilt against Bay Path University.
SVC was led by the 13th double-double from junior Maddy Main (Bennington, Vt.) who had game-highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds; that saw her break the Mountaineers' single-season boards record of 255 (Christie Henry, 2009-10) as she's now grabbed 267 caroms this year. Sophomore Dani Biggers (Broadalbin, N.Y.) had 13 points and five rebounds for Southern Vermont while classmate Taylor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) totaled eight points, six boards, three assists, and a pair of steals.
The Mountaineers went 17-54 (31.5 percent) from the floor as Mitchell connected on 29.9 percent (20-67) of its field goal attempts. MC grabbed a 48-39 upper hand in rebounds to outscore SVC 18-12 in second-chance points while both teams notched 11 points off turnovers on the day.
Mitchell held SVC to 2-12 shooting in the opening quarter and led 12-4 heading into the second period. The Mariners then used 13 unanswered points at the end of the half to open up a big lead; five players contributed baskets during the stretch which put Mitchell on top 36-16 with 36 seconds to play in the stanza. A 3-pointer by Biggers ended the run and made the score 36-19 at the break.
The Mountaineers notched the first six points of the second half to immediately cut into the deficit—then spent the rest of the third quarter trying to edge back into the game. A 3-pointer by sophomore Sarah Poirier (Ferrisburgh, Vt.) briefly brought the deficit down to single digits, but MC responded with a trey on the other end to bring the buffer back to 11.
A three by Main in the opening minute of the fourth period was the beginning of an 8-0 stretch for the Mountaineers who made it 50-46 following three free throws by Biggers with 4:55 to play. After getting a stop on the defensive end, however, Mitchell went up by six on a jumper with 3:59 to go.
The Mariners then cashed in on their next offensive trip as a 3-pointer extended the lead to 55-46. A lay-up by Mallett and a 3-point play from Main brought SVC within four once again with 51 ticks left on the clock, but Mitchell closed out the win at the free throw line for the season sweep.
– #LetsGoSVC –
Mitchell College Sports Information contributed to this recap.