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Cardinals come back to tip women's basketball

Meg Coffin '08 notched her 30th career double-double, with 20 points and 12 rebounds, along with 5 blocked shots.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Avenging an 80-60 loss to Bates in the championship game of the Naismith Classic at Springfield back on Jan. 4, Wesleyan erased a 30-17 first-half deficit and went on to take a 66-55 NESCAC win over Bates in Middletown on Friday night. 

Wesleyan remains alone in first place in the NESCAC with its 4-0 mark and plays host to Tufts Saturday. Bates (11-7, 1-3 NESCAC) plays at Connecticut College Saturday, starting at 3 p.m.

Finishing the first half on a 14-4 run with junior Ali Fourney netting eight of her 18 points during the stretch, Wesleyan got back into the contest, down 34-32 at intermission.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half left the teams in a 42-42 tie. From that point, the Cardinals finished with a 24-13 streak as senior Lucy Sprung netted 19 of her game-high 27 points in the final 20 minutes, including 12 in the final 10 minutes. Two big drives to the basket by senior Nikki Maletta (11 points) helped Wesleyan assume a 48-42 advantage with 8:34 to play. 

Bobcat hoops from senior Meg Coffin (20 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks) and junior Val Beckwith (13 points) cut it to 48-46 at the eight-minute mark. But with Fourney and Sprung contributing the next six points to the Cardinal cause, Wesleyan moved up 54-46 with 3:43 to play.

Bates cut it to 54-49, but baskets from junior Meredith Lowe and Sprung pushed the margin to 58-49 at the 1:45 mark.  Wesleyan went 6-for-6 at the line in the final :50 to seal the conference win.

Bates, which shot 43 percent from the fied in the first half, was limited to 24 percent shooting in the second period, while Wesleyan improved from 32 percent in the first half to 43 percent in the second. Sprung was 7-for-9 in the second half after hitting just three of 10 from the field in the opening 20 minutes. 

Coffin, who was 5-for-7 for Bates in the first half, slipped to 3-for-8 in the second half.  Bates senior Sarah Barton, who leads the NESCAC in assists, handed out 7 assists to go with 10 points.

Bates had won the last five meetings between the team in regular-season and NESCAC conference play and holds a 14-10 overall lead in the series.

-- Wesleyan Sports Information

BOX SCORE: Wesleyan 66, Bates 55