Bates women’s basketball fell to the undefeated number nine nationally ranked Tufts on Saturday, 68-53 in Alumni Gym. With the loss, Bates fell to 2-5 in NESCAC play and eighth overall in the NESCAC. Junior captain Allie Coppola commented, “We played really good basketball for the first three quarters. They are ranked ninth in the country and it’s so much fun to compete with them. But it would’ve been more fun to beat them. I think, as a team, we have come to place where we are prepared and able to compete with teams like Tufts. We still have some tough opponents to play in the regular season, and wins against those teams will prove that we can do more than just compete.”
Despite the fact that the Jumbos were better on paper, the Bobcats fought hard and forced the Jumbos to earn the win. At the half, Bates was only down by nine and they came out strong in the third quarter, holding the away team to only five points while scoring 15 of their own. Tied at 47 apiece going into the fourth, Tufts outlasted Bates and seized another NESCAC win. Nina Davenport ‘18 led the team in points (19), and Coppola led the team in rebounds (12). Turnovers played a huge factor in the loss, with Bates giving the ball away 16 times compared to Tufts’ six. Tufts scored 17 points off turnovers. They also outscored Bates by 16 in points in the paint. This had much to do with Tufts’ powerhouse Melissa Baptista, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Bates travels to face Amherst next weekend, the only other undefeated team in the NESCAC. They will need to limit their turnovers, have a strong fourth quarter, and control the paint more in order to dig out a win.