Bates women’s basketball continued their strong season by playing hard in a 79-52 loss to No. 4 ranked Amherst before defeating Trinity 82-77 in an impressive offensive performance. The weekend moves Bates to 11-10 overall, and 4-5 in the NESCAC conference, which is good for fifth place.
Bates faced an extremely tough task in traveling to face the undefeated, first-place Amherst Lord Jeffs. Amherst was able to jump out to a quick lead, and while Bates kept pace for much of the game, they could not chip away at the Lord Jeffs’ lead.
Sophomore guard Molly Brown led the Bobcats in scoring with 10 points, including 2-4 from three-point range. Senior guard and captain Allie Beaulieu and sophomore forward Allaina Murphy both led the team with five rebounds. Additionally, senior forwards and co-captains Brianna Hawkins and Taryn O’Connell each added seven points for the Bobcats
Bates was dominated throughout the game on the boards, as Amherst achieved a 38-26 advantage in rebounding. Amherst also hit an otherworldly 9 of 17 three-point shots, and their accuracy from behind the arc proved to be the deciding factor in the game.
The Bobcats rebounded from their loss on Friday by winning a shootout with the Trinity Bantams on Saturday.
O’Connell set the tone of the game early by draining back-to-back three-pointers, the first of ten triples that Bates would hit on the day. Hot jump shooting would propel Bates throughout the game, as the Bobcats shot 44% overall from the field and 56% from three-point range. Bates also shot an impressive 89% from the free-throw line.
With five minutes remaining in the first half and Bates trailing the Bantams by a slim 25-22 margin, Beaulieu hit two three-pointers (two of her five on the day) that gave the Bobcats a lead that they would not surrender again. Beaulieu led the Bobcats in scoring with 17 points on 5-7 shooting.
O’Connell and Brown each contributed 15 points, with Brown also leading the team with seven rebounds. Junior guard Meredith Kelly also chipped in with 14 points.
The Bantams mounted one last charge late in the second half, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 67-63 with three minutes remaining. However, at this point Bates took advantage of their free-throw shooting prowess, and drew foul after foul from the Bantams. Bates’ last 15 points came from the charity stripe, and the Bobcats prevailed 82-77.
“We surpassed the Bates [Student’s] predictions of being ‘stock down’ this week and we’re looking forward to playing Hamilton at home this weekend,” commented Beaulieu, “A win would mean a home NESCAC playoff game, and we would love the continued support from our Bates community.”
Bates will play host to the Hamilton Continentals on Friday in Alumni gym, with the fourth seed in the NESCAC tournament at stake.