The Bates women’s basketball team kicked off their season this past weekend by splitting two games in the Mariner Pepsi Challenge at Maine Maritime Academy. The first contest found the Bobcats drop a back-and-forth battle to the Lyons of Mount Holyoke 77-63 on Friday night.
After an early Mount Holyoke lead, Bates found themselves on top 18-14 thanks in part to clutch three pointers from both junior Allaina Murphy and sophomore Chelsea Nason. The Bates lead then kick started the Lyons, who were able to rattle off an 11-0 run, capped by a huge three pointer from Kate Karraker. The Lyons led 25-18 with 9:05 left in the first half, which would turn out to be their largest lead of the day. The feisty Bobcats answered with their own 9-0 run to close out the first half only down four at 37-33.
The two teams came out of the halftime refreshed and energized, playing each other evenly for the next several minutes. Bates was able to pull ahead for the first time since early in the game at 57-56, with only 7:48 left in regulation. This ignited the Lyons of Mount Holyoke, as they came to life and closed out the game with a 21-6 run.
Bates was paced by senior co-captain Meredith Kelly, who led all scorers and added 12 rebounds of her own. Senior co-captain Julia Rafferty registered a game high seven assists. Simmons was led by first-year Jamie Zoldy, and senior Hannah May, who totaled 10 and 7 points respectively.
The Bobcats then kept up their winning ways against Husson in their home opener on November 18th. Bates raced out to a 40-18 halftime lead and didn’t let up, taking the game 74-44.
Kelly again led the team in scoring, this time with 20 points. The senior also chipped in four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The other double-digit scorers were both off the bench. Coppola and junior guard Kristin Calvo contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively. Starters Connors, Nason, and Murphy all had eight points while Nason and Murphy posted 12 and 10 rebounds.
Rafferty led the team with seven assists.
Bates travels to Farmington to take on the Beavers of UMF on November 21st. They open up NESCAC play on November 23rd, when they head down to Brunswick to take on the archrival Polar Bears of Bowdoin College.