CHICOPEE, Mass. -- The Elms College men's basketball team couldn't quite complete a ferocious second-half comeback on Tuesday, falling 79-75 to Mitchell College.
The Blazers (3-14, 2-7 New England Collegiate Conference) trailed by 18 points early in the second half when the Mariners (11-6, 6-3 NECC) built a 46-28 advantage. But Elms chipped away over the next 14 minutes, eventually cutting the Mariner lead to just three at 66-63 with 3:22 to play. The teams traded buckets and Elms was within three again at 68-65 when Mitchell padded its lead with a 6-0 spurt that gave the Mariners a nine-point lead with less than a minute to play. The Blazers fought back to within three on two more occasions in the final 20 seconds but could never get any closer.
Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla.) led Elms with 18 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season. David Lopez Jr. (Willimantic, Conn.) added 14 points and five assists for the Blazers. Andre Peguero (Boynton Beach, Fla.) scored 12 points and Justin Feliciano (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 10 points.
The Blazers had no answer for Domenico Santiago (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), who finished with game highs of 19 points and 18 rebounds. Steffen Brunson (West Haven, Conn.) matched Santiago's 19 points and added three rebounds and three steals for the Mariners. Matt Finke (Wolcott, Conn.) scored 13 points for Mitchell and Hasani Williams (Miramar, Fla.) added 11.
Mitchell dominated the glass, finishing with a 47-30 rebounding advantage. The Mariners also shot well, hitting 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the field including 4-of-11 from 3-point range. Elms shot 43.9 percent (29-of-66) from the field and hit 7-of-20 3-pointers.
The Blazers and Mariners both continue NECC play on Thursday, as Elms visits New England College while Mitchell hosts Newbury.