The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Thrilling Ending Gives Bates Women’s Basketball a Trademark Win

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Phyllis Grader Jensen
Sophomore Elsa Daulerio scored a team-high 19 points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer as the Bates women’s basketball team won a 62-60 thriller over Tufts on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. (Phyllis Grader Jensen/Bates College)

With 0.8 seconds left on the clock, Bates Women’s Basketball (16-2, 4-0 NESCAC) found themselves on the brink of overtime against in-conference rivals Tufts (10-6, 2-2 NESCAC). Then, the unthinkable happened. In front of a packed Alumni Gymnasium crowd, Alexandra Long ‘25 (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks) found the open cutter, Elsa Daulerio ‘26, (19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block) executing a perfect sideline out-of-bounds play to seal the victory just as the buzzer sounded. 

The Bobcats, who for the first time in school history are on a seven-game winning streak and a 4-0 start in conference play, faced difficulty breaking away from the Jumbos throughout the game. After a back-and-forth first half which ended with Bates leading 33-28 and a slow third quarter, the Bobcats finally picked up their largest lead of the game with five minutes remaining in the fourth. Daulerio’s jumper elevated the Bobcats to a 52-44 lead, yet her basket was immediately countered by Tufts’ Sofia Gonzalez knocking down back-to-back three-pointers, narrowing the margin to 52-50 with four minutes left on the clock. After exchanging clutch free throws in the last two minutes, Tufts’ Samantha Sousa leveled the game at 60-60 with less than a second remaining, and the rest was history. 

I asked Daulerio about the last-second play call and what went on in the huddle leading up to the inbound play. 

“We had actually just put in that play during our walkthrough before the game. We had to prepare for a close game knowing that Tufts is always a super competitive and talented team. We usually will go over these last-minute plays in practice, but our coaches had just introduced the play to us earlier in the day, so Tufts couldn’t really scout us on it, and it obviously ended up working really well,” Daulerio said. 

Every basketball player, or athlete for that matter, experiences moments in their career that are unforgettable. This was that moment for Daulerio, who just last week was named Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Co-Player of the Week.

“This is definitely now the best moment of my basketball career, along with our win last year against Trinity at home. This win is really special because it’s our first time being 4-0 in NESCACs in program history, and my first time beating Tufts along with all of my other teammates. This win really showed how our team’s goals and values translate to how we play each game, no matter the opponent. To end it on a buzzer-beating shot was also so exciting, especially with how great of a crowd we had in Alumni,” said Daulerio, looking back on her basketball career and Saturday’s contest. 

Daulerio’s buzzer-beater marked a special moment for the first-place Bobcats as they continue their NESCAC campaign and work towards generating more unforgettable memories. This week, the Bobcats will travel to Middlebury and Williams for in-conference away match-ups against Middlebury and Williams. Mark your calendars for Feb. 2, and join the team at 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Gymnasium as Bates goes head-to-head with #13 Bowdoin in a showdown between the top two seeds in the NESCAC. 

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About the Contributor
Zach Marchick, Assistant Sports Editor
Zach is a sophomore from Washington D.C. majoring in Politics. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing basketball, baseball, tennis and cheering on D.C. sports teams.
Zach has written for the Sports section of the Bates Student for one year and the Sports section of his high school's newspaper for three years. He aspires to pursue a career in the sporting industry.

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