NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Ben Bagnoli (East Haven, Conn.) exploded to score a career-high 23 points and junior Phil Leotsakos (Arlington, Mass.) registered a double-double, but it wasn't enough, as the Connecticut College men's basketball team fell to Mitchell College by a 75-68 score at the Charles B. Luce Field House on Saturday afternoon.
The teams were deadlocked at 36-all at the recess before finding themselves engulfed in a seesaw battle which featured two ties and 10 lead changes over the final 20 minutes of action. Bagnoli nailed a 3-pointer to put the Camels on the board first, but Mitchell came back and went ahead by a 43-42 score when Domenico Santiago converted a layup with 16:40 to play.
Mitchell (3-5), which trailed 50-49 following another Bagnoli basket, then embarked on a 14-2 run to establish control. Steffen Brunson nailed a pair of 3-pointers as well as a jumper during the hot stretch to lead the way for the Mariners. The Camels came within three when Bagnoli drove in for a layup with under a minute left, but Hasani Williams was fouled and hit two free throws on the other end to allow the visitors to walk away with the win.
The Mariners led for practically the entire first half, as Mack Bertram-Gregory and Brayvon Young canned back-to-back 3-point field goals to give their team an early 8-3 advantage. Connecticut College, however, stayed within striking distance by keeping the deficit within single digits throughout the frame. Despite trailing by a touchdown at 35-28 with just over two minutes left, the Camels ended the stanza on an 8-1 run and got a jumper from Leotsakos to tie the score at 36 heading into the break.
"We couldn't quite finish enough plays on offense today," said head coach Tom Satran. "We played hard and played together. We made a few mistakes down the stretch on defense, but those of course were magnified by us not shooting as well as would have liked."
Santiago recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for Mitchell. Young finished with 17 points, which included making four shots from downtown, and Williams added 12 points.
Bagnoli paced Connecticut College by scoring a game-high 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, which included going 3-of-6 from long range, and making two of his four free throw attempts. Leotsakos had a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards while also dishing out five assists. Draffan concluded the afternoon with 15 points and six rebounds.
Connecticut College (4-5) will break for final exams and return to action when it hosts the City College of New York on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1:00 p.m.