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Women's basketball yields to No. 4 Polar Bears, 52-49

Beaulieu

Goodridge

Burns

Hawkins

BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Bates College women's basketball team gave the No. 4 nationally ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears all they could handle in a defensive battle on Thursday night at Morrell Gymnasium, ultimately falling 52-49 in the teams' annual non-conference matchup.

The win put Bowdoin at 10-0 on the year, while Bates dips to 8-4. The Bobcats will play a second straight non-conference game at a NESCAC opponent's gym on Saturday when they play at No. 23 Tufts at 2 p.m.

Both teams struggled from the field, each connecting on just 32% of their shots in the contest. Bowdoin carried a three-point lead into intermission, 24-21, thanks to a pair of late buckets by Leah Rubega. The Polar Bears burst out of the gate in the second half, using a 14-2 spurt to take a seemingly commanding 38-23 lead with 15 minutes to play. Katie Bergeron sparked the run with a pair of three-pointers for the Polar Bears.

But Bates clawed its way back into contention thanks to some sharp outside shooting. The Bobcats connected on four three-pointers in a seven-minute span, capped by first-year Allie Beaulieu's (Swampscott, Mass.) trifecta that trimmed the Bowdoin lead to 42-36 with five minutes to play.

The teams traded buckets for the next three minutes with the Bobcats getting no closer than four points. Bergeron banked home an off-balance shot from the wing that pushed the Polar Bear lead to 50-44 with 35 seconds remaining, but first-year Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) was fouled on a three-point shot on the ensuing possession and netted all three free throws to cut the lead to 50-47 with just eight seconds left.

Caitlin Hynes iced the game with a pair of free throws for the Polar Bears, who were held to a season-low in points.

Beaulieu scored a team-high 16 points for the Bobcats. Senior Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H.) added eight points with a team-high seven rebounds and a game-high four steals. Burns and first-year Bri Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) added seven points apiece.

Hynes was one of three Polar Bears who finished with a dozen points, and she added eight boards. Bergeron and Kaitlin Donahoe also added 12 points apiece while Rubega scored 11 points with 10 rebounds and three steals for the Polar Bears.

Bowdoin held a slim 40-39 edge in rebounding.

STATS: Bowdoin 52, Bates 49