MEDFORD, Mass. -- The red-hot Tufts University Jumbos got past the Bates women's basketball team for their sixth straight win on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium, holding off the Bobcats for a 64-52 NESCAC victory.
Bates first-year forward Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) led the Bobcats with a game-high 18 points, six rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) added 10 points. Senior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) had a game-high five assists and tied for the team steals lead with Brown and senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.), with three.
Caitlin McClure's three-point play gave Tufts a 5-0 lead, and a 3-pointer by Liz Moynihan made it a 10-2 run for the Jumbos in the opening six minutes. A pair of foul shots by Brown shortened the early deficit to six points (10-4), but a layup by Collier Clegg and a three by Hannah Foley made it 15-4 before the halfway point of the opening period. A three by Bates junior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) and a three-point play by senior Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) finally carried Bates into double digits on the scoreboard by making it 18-10 in Tufts' favor with 6:25 to go.
The Bobcats discovered their offense in the final seven minutes of the period, scoring 15 of their 22 points in the half, eight of them by Brown and five by Kelly, but Tufts kept pace and the teams headed to the locker rooms with the Jumbos up 32-22.
Bates inched closer at the start of the second half, as hoops by Brown, Kelly and first-year Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) cut the deficit to as little as five points, at 34-29 with 12:34 left in regulation. A layup by Brown had Bates within striking distance, at 43-35, with 9:40 to go, but Tufts put the game away with 11 unanswered points over a three-minute stretch, including six consecutive points by Clegg that made it 54-35 with 6:32 left.
Tiffany Kornegay grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to help the Jumbos to a 49-29 advantage on the boards, the only major statistical advantage enjoyed by either team. Moynihan led Tufts with 14 points, the only Jumbo in double figures. Clegg contributed eight points and seven boards.