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Bates women beat Middlebury for 4th straight NESCAC win

Lauren Yanofsky '10 rebounded from a tough shooting night on Friday to hit 9-of-15 shots from the floor on Saturday and score 19 points.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) scored a game-high 21 points and first-year Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.)added 19 as the Bates College women's basketball team edged Middlebury on Saturday, 70-65, for its fourth straight New England Small College Athletic Conference victory.

Junior Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) flirted with a triple-double for Bates (13-8, 5-2 NESCAC), collecting eight points and nine rebounds while dishing out 11 assists.

Middlebury (10-11, 2-5 NESCAC) outrebounded Bates by a 48-38 margin, including 18 offensive boards, while Bates junior Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.), the league-leading rebounder, sat out her second straight game with an ankle injury (she is expected to play next weekend). But the Panthers only went to the foul line 10 times, hitting eight, while the Bobcats went 18-for-24. Bates was also more effective from the field, hitting 39.7 percent compared to Middlebury's 33.3 percent.

Emily Johnson led the Panthers with 19 points and five assists to go with seven rebounds. Katie Fisher added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Lani Young contributed 11 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the final minute of play.

It was the final regular season home game for Bates, which will play at Colby on Friday and at Bowdoin on Saturday. The Bobcats clinched a top-four seeding and a home game in the first round of the NESCAC Championship, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Bates led for nearly the entire first half but Middlebury hung close and tied the game at 31 on a Jennifer Kelleher jumper heading into halftime. The Panthers went on a 13-7 spurt over the first five minutes of the second half to take a 44-38 lead, but Bates quickly evened the game at 44.

A 17-4 Bates run in the middle of the second half, capped by a three-pointer by Yanofsky, opened up a 61-52 lead wity 5:59 left to play. Middlebury closed the gap to 61-59 with 3:13 left on a Lani Young layup, but Bates hit 9-of-11 foul shots down the stretch to stave off the Panthers.

STATS: Bates 70, Middlebury 65