NEW LONDON, CT - Freshman forward Anthony Williams (White Plains, NY) scored a career-high 34 points and Nicholas Fenton (East Hartford, CT) handed out a school-record tying 12 assists to lead the Wheelock College men's basketball team in a 104-87 loss to host Mitchell College this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference game in New London, CT. The Wildcats fall to 1-17 overall and 0-10 in NECC play, while the Mariners improve to 15-4 and 11-1.
Williams was 13-20 from the floor and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line to go with three rebounds, two assists and a steal for Wheelock. Fenton matched his own school standard for helpers and added eight points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Senior Paul Coucci (Dartmouth, MA) provided a spark off the bench with 14 points, including four three-pointers, while pulling down five rebounds, dishing out an assist, coming up with a steal and blocking a shot. Sophomore forward Joe Reedy (Orlando, FL) contributed with 12 points, seven boards, two assists, one steal and one block. Freshman guard Derek Fournier (Johnston, RI) chipped in with 11 points.
The Mariners led 9-2 after the first two minutes, but the Wildcats came right back and kept the score close for the remainder of the half. The duo of Williams and Fournier did most of the damage for Wheelock, the former in the paint and the latter from beyond the arc.
The first half featured five ties and six lead changes. Wheelock took its biggest lead following a three by Fournier that made it 37-32 with 4:15 to play in the half, though Mitchell answered with an 11-2 run to pull back in front. Senior Anthony Epps (Norwalk, CT) scored four points during the stretch while sophomore Frank Martin (Port St. Lucie, FL) canned the go-ahead three with 1:36 to play.
Wheelock trailed 43-42 at the half thanks to a late trey by Fournier, his third of the stanza. Williams had 15 points at the break while Fournier had nine and Reedy added eight. Junior Parris Hill (Stockton, CA) had nine points at intermission to pace the Mariners.
The Wildcats pulled ahead on a jumper by freshman forward Pablo Tovar (LaJoya, TX) to start the second half, but Hill responded with a lay-up on the other end, and Mitchell never again trailed. The Mariners quickly scored 10 straight points to pump the lead to nine at 53-44, capping the run on a dunk by Hill. However, the margin didn't last long as Wheelock scored 10 of the next 12 points—including a pair of threes by Coucci—over a two-minute stretch to cut the deficit back to one.
Wheelock proved hard to shake over the remainder of the half, but Mitchell finally got some separation thanks to a 10-2 run that made it 80-71 with 7:37 to go. The Wildcats never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
After sitting for most of the first half, Ford played all 20 minutes of the second and tallied 24 points and eight rebounds. Martin logged a season-high 35 minutes in a strong performance, handing out five assists while recording three steals. He also grabbed five rebounds and went 5-for-5 at the free throw line.
Wheelock returns to action in Chicopee, MA taking on Elms College on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m., while Mitchell will next play at Becker College on Thursday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.