HOLYOKE, Mass.--- Sophomore point guard Toni Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) led all players with a season high 17 points while adding six rebounds and six assists. Despite trailing most of the game, Toni Alexander helped spark the late rally for the Bay Path Wildcats who in the last minute of play managed to knot the game and win by one free throw from junior forward Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.). In the final five seconds, Bay Path defeated the Mitchell College Mariners 51-50 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action tonight at the Bartley Center.
Mitchell controlled most of the game holding the lead at the half 26-19. Coming out of the locker room, freshman forward Diamond Thomas (Hartford, Conn.) sparked the Mariners nailing three buckets in the first few minutes putting her team up by eight points. Alexander then hit her first three-pointer of the game at 18:06 on the clock. Bay Path chipped away at the Mariner's lead when again Thomas notched a basket.
Older sister and four year guard for Bay Path, Brittney Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) hit her first trey knotting the game 36-36 at 10:05 on the clock. Sophomore center Gladys Reed (Hamden, Conn.) kept it going with a much needed block and defensive rebound and then take the lead with a made lay-up.
Mitchell would again answer back off a three-pointer by senior guard Suzie Barbosa (Orange. Conn.). Toni Alexander would then hit her second shot from down town at 6:35. Junior forward Kate Mulloy (Gardner, Mass.) would cause a major shift in scoring for Mitchell hitting three jumpers along with one more basket by freshman forward Amanda Garcia (New Britain, Conn.). With the score at 47-41 in the Mariners favor with under five minutes of play, Wildcats head coach Jill Shaw would call a pivotal time-out for Bay Path.
At 2:31 the tides would change with Toni Alexander nailing her third and final trey off a great pass by her sister Brittney Alexander. Still down by four points the full-court press would prove to dishevel the Mariners offense. On their next possession Toni Alexander would again handle it herself driving the basket bringing the Wildcats within one basket.
At 1:06 on the clock, Toni Alexander would make two crucial free throws after a tough foul by Garcia knotting the game 48-48.
Garcia would then make a lay-up. Skiffington would do the same with forty second left putting the score to 50-50. With two unsuccessful attempts by the Mariners junior guard Justine Hook (Berwick, Penn.) would pull down a huge defensive board. Garcia would again foul Skiffington in the final five seconds.
Skiffington would hit her first from the charity stripe putting Bay Path up by one point. Skiffington would miss the second free-throw with Brittney Alexander notching a huge offensive rebound preventing any more chances for the Mariners.
Mitchell's Garcia would top her team with 16 points and ten rebounds, while Thomas finished with ten points.
Skiffington had 13 points and nine rebounds. Hook had nine points and five boards, while Reed had seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Katherine Chabot (Brookfield, Mass.) added four points, four rebounds and four assists.
Bay Path is now 9-6 on the season and 6-3 in NECC play. Mitchell is 3-12 overall and 3-6 in conference play. Both teams play NECC opponents on Saturday, January 26th with Mitchell hosting Regis and Bay Path travelling to Wheelock both for 1:00 p.m. starts.