WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates women's basketball team accepted its first NESCAC loss of the season on Saturday by a 71-40 score at No. 17 nationally ranked Williams, a day after opening the conference slate with a win at Middlebury.
The Ephs (12-1, 1-1 NESCAC) bounced back from their first loss of the year, suffered the night before against Tufts, holding the Bobcats to season lows in scoring and shooting (26.9 percent from the field).
The Ephs started to take the game over on the shoulders of junior Claire Baecher. Just under seven minutes in, she backed down her defender in the paint and finished off of a pretty spin move. On the next Eph possession, she drove to the hoop to give the Ephs the four-point lead.
Grace Rehnquist got in on the action for the Ephs as well with a deep three from the top of the key, but Bates junior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) responded for the Bobcats with a pretty drive to the hoop. Senior Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) then stole the ball on the next Eph possession, but Bates was unable to convert, and Baecher scored a transition hoop in return to prompt the Bobcats’ first timeout with just under 10 minutes on the clock.
Out of the timeout, Flaherty drove to the hoop and finished for two, but Rehnquist responded with a baseline three-pointer for the Ephs. After the teams traded hoops for several minutes, Baecher made a three-pointer to push the lead to double digits with 6:10 on the clock. The Ephs finished the half on a 16-2 run that included treys from Ellen Cook and Jen Borderud and two more from Baecher. They went into the locker room with the 41-17 lead behind Baecher’s 18 first-half points.
Out of the break the Ephs continued to add to their lead by going on an 8-0 run behind four points from Jill Greenberg and layups apiece by Danny Rainer and Baecher. The Bobcats broke the spell with 15:45 on the clock when first-year Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) finished inside after getting her own rebound, but by then Williams still led by 30 points.
No one reached double digits in scoring for the Bobcats, as junior center Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) led the team with seven points. Bates was awarded only five free throws, making two.
Sophomore Callie Cramer (Dedham, Mass.) scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting and blocked two shots in 10 minutes of action, and Murphy led the team with seven rebounds.
Baecher netted 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double. With 10 points, Rehnquist was the only other person in double digits for the Ephs, who shot 36.0% from the field.