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Women's basketball beats Bowdoin to set up NESCAC rematch

Matia Kostakis '08 was sharp all game long, hitting 9 of 13 shots from the floor, including 2 of 3 behind the arc.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College women's basketball team defeated rival Bowdoin for the first time in two years on Saturday in both teams' regular season finales, 62-52, outrebounding the Polar Bears 43-29 and outshooting them from the field 51.0 percent to 35.1.

Senior Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.) led the Bobcats (15-9, 5-4 NESCAC) with a season-high 20 points and 8 rebounds, while hitting 9 of 13 shots. Junior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) added 13, including the 1,000th point of her career, with 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

Katie Bergeron led Bowdoin (17-7, 6-3 NESCAC) with 15 points, while Alexa Kaubris and Colleen Sweeney added 11 and 10 points apiece, respectively.

The teams will meet again in one week in the first round of the NESCAC Women's Basketball Championships, in an unprecedented men's and women's doubleheader. No. 5 seeded Bates will play at No. 4 seed Bowdoin at 2 p.m., to be followed immediately by the Bates men playing at Bowdoin in another 4-5 first-round matchup in the men's tournament.

Bates led this game wire-to-wire, as Kostakis started the scoring with a jumper assisted by senior Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.), who collected eight assists to go with 7 rebounds. The Bobcats jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the early going, with six points from Kostakis, five from Beckwith and four from senior Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.), who finished the game with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Val Beckwith '09 became the 16th Bates woman, and the third this season, to reach 1,000 career points.

A quick 6-0 run by Bowdoin, with two hoops by Sweeney, cut the Bates lead to five, at 17-12 with 11:25 left in the first half, but that was as close as they would get. Kostakis and sophomore Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H.) both hit 3-pointers, sandwiching a jumper by first-year Jessie Igoe (Lexington, Mass.), to ignite a 14-2 run that put Bates up 33-16 with 2:15 left in the period. The teams headed into the locker rooms with Bates ahead 33-20, having limited Bowdoin to 8-for-28 shooting and established a 10-rebound advantage on the glass.

Kostakis opened the scoring in the second half with her second three of the game, and Bates built the lead as high as 20 on two occasions, at 44-24 and 46-26.

Bowdoin tried to stage a comeback, and did close the lead to 12 halfway through the second period, getting back-to-back threes from Bergeron and Kaubris to make it 46-34 and a pair of free throws by Caitlin Hynes to make it 48-36 at the 10-minute mark. Kostakis answered with a layup, but a free throw and a bucket by Kaubris, assisted by Noucas, cut it to 50-39 with 8:29 left to play.

A nifty pass from Coffin to Igoe, followed by a Coffin dish to Beckwith for a swished three from the top of the key, built the lead back to 16, 55-39, with 7:22 to play. With Bates determined to milk the game clock, Bowdoin was able to come within 11 again twice, both on Bergeron threes, but Bowdoin only got closer at the final horn, as Noucas canned a three from 30 feet away.

Beckwith entered the game with 994 career points, and she scored her 1,000th and 1,001st career points when Barton found her open cutting toward the basket for an easy layup, giving Bates a 31-16 lead with 4:36 left in the first period. Now with 1,007 points, Beckwith became the 16th Bates woman to reach 1,000 career points and the third this season, following senior teammates Coffin and Kostakis.

BOX SCORE: Bates 62, Bowdoin 52