NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College grabbed a share of first place in the New England Collegiate Conference standings with a 95-74 victory over Dean College on Wednesday night at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Six players—including all five starters—scored in double digits as the Mariners won for the sixth time in seven games and improved to 10-12 overall (7-2 NECC). Matt Finke netted a team-high 22 points while Elijah Baidoo came off the bench to drill four three-pointers en route to a season-high 14 points. Malik Chase chipped in 13 points while Jalen Benson and Leonard Williams each added 11. Hasani Williams rounded out the group with a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Dean's Jordan Booker led all scorers with 32 points and shot 6-for-12 from long range. He also finished with four rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists on the night.
Mitchell held the lead for the majority of the first half, but Booker did his best to keep the Bulldogs close. The NECC's leading scorer erupted for 20 first-half points on a mix of drives to the basket and long three-point attempts. Despite his efforts, Booker's squad trailed 48-40 at the break. Finke paced the Mariners with 12 points in the stanza.
Mitchell built the margin to double digits early in the second half and played with a big lead throughout. After an 8-0 run left the Mariners with a 69-48 lead with 12:24 to go, Booker responded with a 7-0 run of his own to draw the Bulldogs back to within 14.
Mitchell came right back with 10 unanswered points to slam the door, eight of which came from Baidoo. Connel Henderson also came up with a pair of big defensive stops during the stretch to help fuel the run.
The lead grew to as many as 28 in the final five minutes. Mitchell shot 54 percent for the game and finished with a 28-9 advantage in transition points. Benson was particularly effective on the fast-break and handed out a career-high eight assists to go with eight boards.
Mitchell will next travel to New England College on Saturday, February 15 at 3:15 p.m. Dean (9-14 overall, 5-5 NECC) returns to action at home against Lesley University on Wednesday, February 19 at 6 p.m.