CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Behind a season-high 25 points from Kelsey Hernandez, the Mitchell College women's basketball team won its sixth straight game by a 68-60 final over Pine Manor College on Thursday night in non-conference action at Brunelli Court.
Hernandez, who fell one point shy of her career high, hit four three-pointers and went 9-for-11 from the free throw line on the night. Joining her in double figures were Leilani McClellan and Sam McKenna with 14 and 10 points, respectively. PMC's Kierra Jackson led all players with 26 points and also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Mitchell put five points on the scoreboard before Pine Manor even touched the ball. The home team was assessed a technical foul before the start of the contest, and the Mariners were awarded two free throws and the ball to start the game. Hernandez drained both shots from the line and McKenna added a three on the opening possession to make it 5-0.
The scored was tied at 14-14 after the first period and remained tight throughout the second. The Gators led by as many as five in the stanza before the Mariners clawed their way back. A pair of free throws by McClellan in the final minute of the half gave Mitchell a slim 37-36 lead at intermission. Hernandez had 12 points at the break while McClellan added 10.
The lead changed hands four times in the early stages of the third quarter before Mitchell pulled ahead for good on a three by Hernandez with 5:52 to go. The Mariners used an 18-1 run in the stanza to pull away, holding Pine Manor without a field goal for more than five minutes. Hernandez contributed nine points during the stretch, which was capped by an Amina Wiley layup that made it 59-45 with 1:26 left in the third.
McKenna supplied Mitchell's first five points of the final stanza as the visitors took their largest lead of the night at 64-49. The Gators fought their way back into the game and got within six by the final minute, but ultimately ran out of time. Hernandez and Le'Sandra Turner, who finished with nine points, each buried freebies in the final 31 seconds to ice the game.
Mitchell held a 40-35 advantage on the glass thanks to a team-high 12 rebounds for Wiley, four of which came on the offensive end. The Mariners also held an 11-1 edge in second-chance points.
Mitchell (13-8 overall) will next play at Eastern Nazarene College on Saturday, February 15 at 1 p.m.