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Women's basketball nearly pulls off upset of No. 8 Williams

Allie Beaulieu '13 led the Bobcats with 14 points and eight rebounds. (File photo)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Chessie Jackson scored 19 points, Claire Baecher added 13 points and four blocked shots and Jill Greenberg chipped in with 12 points, five assists and six rebounds to help No. 8 nationally ranked Williams hold off the Bates women's basketball team 56-50 on Friday night as both teams opened NESCAC play at Alumni Gym.

Williams raised its record to 14-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play, while Bates dropped to 11-4, 0-1.

Sophomore Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) led the Bobcats with 14 points and eight rebounds from off the bench. Senior Jessie Igoe (Lexington, Mass.) contributed 10 points and seven boards.

Bates stayed in the game throughout despite shooting only .295 (18-61) from the field, compared to Williams' .460 percentage (23-50). The teams tied in rebounding, 38-38, and although Williams turned the ball over 20 times to Bates' 15, the Ephs outscored the Bobcats 23-14 in points off turnovers.

Williams raced out to an early 11-2 lead, with seven points by Jackson. The Ephs extended it to as many as 12 points (26-14) before Bates got back into the game with an 11-0 run to close the gap to 26-25. Beaulieu hit back-to-back threes during the run to cut it from 26-18 to 26-24 in a 49-second span. A foul shot by Claire Baecher sent the Ephs into intermission with a 27-25 lead.

Bates stayed in aggressive mode for the second half. After Baecher's layup made it 29-25, the Bobcats scored eight unanswered points to take their first lead of the game, at 31-29 with 14:38 left. The run included a pair of jumpers by Beaulieu and a fast-break layup by first-year Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.).

Williams called timeout and quickly regrouped, going on a 10-0 run of its own to assume a 39-33 lead, with a pair of hoops by Jackson and a pair of buckets by Baecher.

Williams' lead grew to 46-38 on Taylor Shea's layup with 7:13 left in the game, but Bates embarked on one more run, scoring nine straight points and taking a 47-46 lead on a pair of free throws by Beaulieu with 4:11 left. But the seesaw continued rocking, as the Ephs responded with a decisive 8-0 run that put them ahead 54-47 with 2:06 left. Baecher gave the Ephs the lead back for good at 48-47 on an unassisted layup. Greenberg added a jumper, and Jackson offset a three-pointer by Bates senior Christine McCall (Lowell, Mass.) by scoring six straight points for Williams, the final one a deep two-point jumper that made it 56-50 with 1:29 left. Although Williams went 0-4 at the free-throw line over the final minute and a half, including three missed front ends of one-and-ones, the Bobcats couldn't capitalize, missing their last six shots in the game.

Junior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) handed out five assists for Bates, and junior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) made five steals while scoring eight points.

Shea grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for Williams.

Bates plays host to Middlebury tomorrow at 4 p.m. The game can be followed via Live Stats and Live Video Webcast.

BOX SCORE: Williams 56, Bates 50

Bates College

2 Andrews Road

Lewiston, ME 04240

Phone: 1-207-786-6255

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