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Scrappy Bates women lose in Winter Classic championship game

Matia Kostakis '08

Val Beckwith '09

STATS: Williams 64, Bates 53

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Meghan Stetson scored 23 points Wednesday as the Williams College women's basketball team held off conference rival Bates, 64-53, in the championship game of its own Williams Winter Classic in the Chandler Gym.

Williams improved to 10-2 on the season, while the Bobcats dropped to 7-5 with the loss.

Sophomore Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) and junior Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.), both all-tournament selections for Bates, led the Bobcats with 12 points each, and junior Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) added 11. Williams senior Maggie Miller, who notched a double-double in the victory with 14 points and 10 rebounds, was also an all-tournament selection, while Stetson earned tournament MVP honors.

Stetson scored 13 of her game-high 23 points in the second half as the Ephs held off Bates' attempted comeback. Senior Kaylan Tildsley scored all nine of her points in the final 20 minutes. Williams senior Meghan O'Malley had a game-high 12 rebounds for Williams.

"This is big for us," Ephs' head coach Pat Manning said. "It's a great start to the new year. Winning our own tournament -- and beating Bates to do that -- was a goal of ours this season. Bates plays very good defense, but I felt we stayed composed when our offense wasn't flowing and we didn't get flustered."

Williams rode a strong start to the win. The Ephs opened 6-2, 14-5 and 18-7 leads in the first six minutes of the game. Miller scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half, and Eph sophomore Mika Peterman notched eight of her nine.

Both teams struggled shooting from the floor, with the Bobcats hitting only 34.6 percent (9 of 26) and the Ephs knocking down just 30.6 percent (11 of 36). The Ephs led 37-24 at the halftime break.

Bates immediately cut into the Williams lead at the start of the second half, and a 12-foot jumper by Kostakis made it 39-30. But Tildsley answered with a three-pointer of the right wing to make it 42-30 and set the tone for the second half -- every run Bates had, the Ephs answered.

A Stetson three from the top of the key with 8:30 remaining gave the Ephs a 53-40 lead. But an old-fashioned three-point play from Bates first-year Danielle Schaefers (Providence, R.I.) just over two minutes later made it a 55-47 game.

With 2:55 to go, Bates first-year Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) came up with a steal and lay-up to make it 59-53, but an O'Malley baseline jumper made it 61-53 and the Ephs closed out the game with a 5-0 run.

Bates outrebounded the Ephs 45-41, but Williams committed only eight turnovers in the game while forcing the Bobcats into 22.

Beckwith led the Bobcats with nine rebounds, and Kostakis added six. Schaefers contributed seven points and seven rebounds, while first-year Teal Carroll (Norwich, Vt.) added seven points and six rebounds.

Bates will host Colby College in a non-conference matchup next Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m.

-- Courtesy of Williams College Sports Information