NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Bates sophomore Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) scored a career-high 21 points and added four steals and four rebounds to lead the Bobcats women's basketball team to an 87-69 win over the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Friday night in the opening round of the Hockenbury Classic at Norwich University.
The Bobcats (3-1) will play the host Cadets on Saturday at 3pm in the tournament championship game. The game can be followed via Live Stats.
Bates senior Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) scored 13 points and grabbed a game- and career-high nine rebounds. First-year Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) also scored 13 points, while junior Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) and junior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) added 12 points apiece.
Alie Dobrovic led MCLA (2-2) with 22 points, hitting 12 of her 13 free throw attempts. Olivia McMullen added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The Bobcats turned around a 40-36 halftime advantage for the Trailblazers by outscoring MCLA 51-29 in the second half. Bates has won three games in a row and had a 50-point-plus period in all three games.
Bates trailed by 10 points with 1:20 left in the first period, after a jumper by McMullen. But Beaulieu hit a three with 47 seconds left, and after Kelly hit a pair of free throws, Flaherty made a buzzer-beating three to close out the half by slicing the deficit to four points, 40-36.
Bates fought its way into its first lead of the game at the 15:20 mark of the second half, on a jumper by Kelly. Brown followed that with a three-pointer for a 46-42 Bates lead. After back-to-back hoops by fellow rookie Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine), Brown converted a three-point play for a nine-point cushion, and Beaulieu made it 11 with a layup assisted by senior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.), who tied senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) with a game-high four assists.