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Women's hoops runs past Williams in NESCACs, 70-63

Allie Beaulieu '13 poured in 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-7 behind the arc.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates College women's basketball team surprised host Williams College with a 70-63 victory in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday, riding a 20-1 run over a six-minute stretch near the start of the second half to put away the Ephs and avenge their regular-season loss at Williams in the regular season.

Senior Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) and first-year Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) scored 18 points apiece to lead the Bobcats (14-11), who will play at top-seeded Amherst next Saturday in the conference semifinals. Sophomore Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) scored 12 points to go with seven rebounds and four steals.

Taylor Shea led Williams (18-7) with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Jill Greenberg added 13 points.

The Ephs came out cold to open the first half. Nearly three minutes ticked off the clock before Lisa Jaris scored the first two points for Williams in the paint. Bates looked stronger in the opening minutes of play, but the Ephs crawled back to tie the game at 10-10 with 12:18 left in the half. Claire Baecher grabbed the Ephs' first lead off a three-point shot from the top of the key to put the home team ahead, 13-12.

Greenberg scored five straight points with a shot from behind the arc a two points from the line. Grace Rehnquist hit a trey and a bucket inside to expand the Williams lead to 26-21 just under the five-minute mark of the half.

But Bates quickly erased that lead. Burns nailed a jumper from the left elbow, and Beaulieu hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 26-26.  The Ephs surged again to build a six-point lead this time around, but it was short lived. Burns hit a long ball to cut the lead to three, and Beaulieu did the same on the following possession to come within two of the Ephs. Williams headed into the locker room ahead 36-32.

The Ephs held a 40-36 lead at the 17:36 mark of the second half, and Bates tied the game in just 45 seconds at 41-41.  Yanofsky was fouled on a successful layup inside. Although she missed the free throw, the basket marked Bates' first lead since midway through the first half.

Beaulieu, who started the run with a jumper, buried another of her four threes to increase the lead to 46-41. Williams began to foul carelessly inside, and Bates took advantage of slipshod turnovers on the Ephs' offensive end. A basket by Jaris at the 11:42 finally halted 16 unanswered points by the Bobcats. Bates led by as many as 13 points during their run, at 54-41. Yanofsky scored eight points during the run, while both senior Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H.) and first-year Bri Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) converted old-fashioned three-point plays.

"We limited them to one shot and most of those were contested, and we were able to get out and score off the fast break," said Bates head coach Jim Murphy.

Following a twenty-minute pause for a player injury, Williams seemed more resilient out of the break. Greenberg scored four unanswered points to bring the score to 54-47 with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Momentum appeared to be shifting, as it took Bates over three minutes to connect on the offensive end. But the Ephs couldn't find a groove, and never got closer than seven points of the lead for the rest of the game. Williams shot only 32.8% from the floor in the game, while Bates connected on 40.3% of its shots.

STATS: Bates 70, Williams 63