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Women's basketball set to host Trinity in NESCAC playoff

Watch the game live, Saturday at 3 p.m., on BatesCast.com!

LEWISTON, Maine -- Tickets for this Saturday's NESCAC women's basketball quarterfinal between Bates and Trinity will be available for advance purchase on Friday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. Tickets will cost $3 for adults and $1 for students. Those with Bates IDs can receive one free ticket to the game.

The game will also be viewable on the Internet live and free of charge on BatesCast.com.

The game pits the fourth-seeded host Bobcats (16-8, 5-4 NESCAC) against the fifth-seeded Bantams (16-7, 4-5). The teams just met up on Feb. 7 in Hartford, when Bates earned a 68-54 victory, behind Val Beckwith's 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Val Beckwith '09 is only 25 points away from tying Emily King '00 as Bates' all-time leading scorer.

Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) leads the Bobcats in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg) -- she ranks second and 11th, respectively, in the NESCAC in those categories. The two-time All-NESCAC forward is only 25 points away from tying Emily King '00 as Bates' all-time leading scorer. She currently has 1,453 career points. Bates junior Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) has been another key to Bates' success. Yanofsky averages 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, ranking ninth and 20th in the conference in those categories. First-year point guard Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) sets the tone for the Bates offense, ranking second in the conference in assists per game (5.04) and sixth in steals (1.96). The Bobcats also boast the league's most accurate three-point shooter in sophomore Maggie DePoy (Chicago, Ill.; 32-of-70, .457).

Trinity junior Claire Arnstein paces the balanced Bantams in scoring at 12.0 ppg, followed by first-year Michelle Royals (11.2 ppg) and junior Christine Card (9.3 ppg). Card is the team's leading rebounder at 7.3 rpg.

Bates has been one of the conference's most potent offensive teams: the Bobcats are a close second to Amherst in the conference team field goal percentage rankings (.429 to .428), and their 68.7 points per game ranks fourth in the NESCAC. Trinity has been one of the toughest defensive teams, ranking third in the NESCAC in points allowed per game (54.4) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.351).

After opening the NESCAC schedule 4-1, fourth-seeded Bates (16-8, 5-4 NESCAC) dropped three of its last four league games, including the season finale at Tufts on Saturday. The lone win in that stretch came against Trinity. The Bantams had a spectacular start to the 2008-09 campaign, winning their first 11 games before falling to Babson 54-45 just before the start of the conference schedule. After earning an 80-61 win over Colby on Jan. 30, Trinity hit a skid and lost its next six games before bouncing back on Saturday at Williams, 75-70. While both teams are still in search of their first NESCAC title, Bates has reached the championship game on four consecutive occasions from 2003 through 2006, and has advanced to the tournament semifinals in every year of its existence. Meanwhile, Trinity has never advanced out of the quarterfinals in its five previous tournament appearances. The only meeting between the two squads came during the first round of the 2002 playoffs with the Bobcats prevailing 77-59.