LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team acquitted itself nicely Friday night, as the top-ranked and defending NCAA Division III champion Amherst won its 30th straight game with a 75-63 decision in NESCAC play.
Caroline Stedman led the Lord Jeffs (21-0, 7-0 NESCAC) with 18 points, including 16 in the second half, with Lem Atanga McCormick adding 17 and Shannon Finucane scoring 14 points with a team-high nine rebounds. Kim Fiorentino pitched in with nine points and eight rebounds.
Sophomore Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) led Bates (9-12, 2-6 NESCAC) with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Junior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) added 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out, and first-year Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) contributed 10 points, all in the second half, and three steals.
Amherst eked out a 26-17 halftime lead after a cold first period for both teams.
The second half was a much different story, with the Lord Jeffs outscoring Bates 49-46. The Bobcats were 18-of-19 from the free throw line in the second half, after going 0-for-3 in the first period.
Bates made a creditable charge late in the game, cutting Amherst's lead from 66-45 with 6:49 left to 70-59 with 4:05 to play. followed up two pairs of free throws by first-year Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) and senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) with a steal and a three-point play, cutting the deficit to 14. Brown made two more free throws, and Dobish fed Kelly for a layup to make it 68-56 with 4:59 left. Kelly then fed Beaulieu for a 3-pointer to close the gap to 11 points. The Bobcats twice got within 10 points in the final 2:20, but no closer.