PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Mitchell College women's basketball team came up on the short end of an 88-83 shootout in its season opener at Johnson & Wales University on Tuesday night.
The Mariners were led by Amina Wiley's game highs of 25 points and 15 rebounds. Sam McKenna also turned in an impressive collegiate debut, going 5-for-12 from downtown en route to 21 points. Kelsey Hernandez and Le'Sandra Turner each scored in double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Britney Gallagher paced JWU with 21 points. Tiondra Hands, who came up big down the stretch for the Wildcats, finished with 19 points.
Mitchell led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter after getting out to a quick start. Johnson & Wales rallied back to tie the game at 20-20 by the end of the stanza, and in the second quarter the home team pulled ahead on its opening possession. The Wildcats went on to finish the half with a 42-37 lead.
A 9-0 run in the third quarter opened up a 59-47 lead for JWU, although the Mariners whittled the deficit back to seven before the start of the final period. In the fourth the Wildcats took their biggest lead at 75-62 with 8:11 remaining, but Mitchell responded with an 11-0 run to get back into the game. Wiley and Turner each netted four points during the run while McKenna also buried a big three.
Mitchell grabbed the lead briefly with 2:48 to go on a free throw by Turner, but Tara Murphy answered on the other end with a three-point play to but JWU back on top by two. Wiley later drained a pair of free throws to tie the game at 80-80 with 1:37 to play.
The Mariners had the ball with a chance at the lead with a minute to go but turned it over. Hands then took over the game for the Wildcats, draining a deep three from the left wing for the lead with 45 seconds remaining. She later added five free throws in the final 16 seconds to seal the win, tallying her team's final eight points of the contest.
Both teams shot 44 percent from the floor and 33 percent from deep. The difference, however, came at the free throw line where the Wildcats went 16-for-20 (80 percent) while the Mariners shot just 17-for-31 (55 percent).
Mitchell (0-1 overall) will next host Fisher College on Monday, November 18 at 6 p.m.