HENNIKER, N.H. – The New England College women's basketball team heads to the New England Collegiate Conference Championship, following the Pilgrims 74-47 win over Mitchell College Thursday evening.
With the win, the Pilgrims move to 20-6 overall, while the Mariners season comes to a close at 16-11.
The Mariners scored first and were able to maintain their lead for most of the quarter as they held a 12-9 lead halfway through. The Pilgrims took a 9-0 run over the final minutes of the quarter for a 20-14 lead. Mitchell would not go away though as they hit a three at the buzzer for a score of 20-17 heading into the second.
The competitive play carried over into the second as both teams traded baskets in the opening minutes as the score was pushed to 26-22 in favor of New England College. NEC then went on a 7-0 run for a 33-22 lead with 4:14 to play in the half. Scoring evened out from there but the Pilgrims were able to hold the lead as they went into the break, up 40-28. New England College had a strong half as they shot 59 percent from the field.
The Pilgrims held their lead in the second half but the Mariners were able to keep pace as the score was pushed to 49-37 in favor of NEC. Mitchell kept fighting as they were able to cut the lead to 51-45 with 1:28 to play in the third. The Pilgrims were able to regain their footing some as the headed into the final frame of play up 56-48.
The game remained close in the fourth quarter as New England College was unable to pull away. The Mariners kept chipping away as they cut the lead to 62-60 halfway through the quarter. Mitchell was able to bring it within one but NEC was able to respond quickly as they had the ball up 68-64 with 2:11 to play. Mitchell kept scoring down the stretch but the Pilgrims kept pace as they claimed a 79-75 win.
Rene Hudson (Gallatin, Tenn.) led all scorers with 36 points for her fourth 30+ point game of the season.
The Pilgrims will play the winner of Becker College and Eastern Nazarene on Saturday, February 29th in the NECC Championship game.
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.
(Story courtesy of NEC Sports Information)