NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Connecticut College men's basketball team dropped a seesaw battle to Mitchell by a 77-71 score on Tuesday evening at the Charles B. Luce Field House.
In a game that featured 14 ties and nine lead changes, Connecticut College burst ahead by an 18-7 score when Jeff Allen put together an old-fashioned 3-point play. The Mariners, however, clawed their way back and took their first lead at 27-25 on a good jumper by Jacob Tully. The Camels then responded by managing to tie the game at 31s heading into break on a layup by junior Dan Draffan (Hamden, Conn.), which would also set the tone for what was to come the rest of the way.
The evenly matched teams continued to exchange the lead throughout the second half, and neither side led by more than four points until there were under two minutes left in the game. But after Marvin Baker broke a 64-64 deadlock by sinking two free throws, the Camels were unable to get a shot off at the other end. A traveling call with a chance to tie or take the lead would prove to be costly, as Matt Finke drilled a long three from beyond NBA range with the shot clock winding down. Finke's clutch shot with 58 seconds left proved to be the dagger and gave the visitors enough of a cushion to pull out their sixth win in the last seven meetings against the Camels.
Finke led Mitchell (3-10) with 18 points and draining a season-high five shots from downtown. Tully added 17 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Leonard Williams notched 11 points and dished out seven assists.
Draffan registered another double-double performance by scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 boards to pace Connecticut College, which shot 53 percent from the field despite coming up short. Freshman Ben McPherron had 13 points to go along with three assists, while Zimmerman chipped in 12 points to round out three players in twin figures.
Connecticut College (3-8) will face a tough test to open NESCAC play when it next travels to face undefeated and 12th-ranked Colby on Friday evening at 7 p.m.