LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team completed an impressive 3-0 week with a 62-49 defeat of rival Colby in the teams' annual non-conference matchup on Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gym.
The Bobcats evened their record at 5-5, having posted wins earlier this week over the University of New England and Bowdoin.
First-year forward Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) led a balanced Bates lineup with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 shooting at the free-throw line, to go with a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) added 12 points, 10 of them in the first half. Senior Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) contributed 11 points and six boards, and junior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) posted 10 points.
Diana Manduca was the lone double-digit scorer for Colby (4-4), and she led the Mules in rebounding (6) and assists (5) as well.
Bates got off to a 34-27 halftime lead despite Colby's hot shooting from outside. The Mules made their first four 3-point attempts and were 5-of-11 behind the arc in the period, which featured a whopping 13 lead changes and three ties.
After Hawkins hit a three from the corner for a 22-20 Bates lead, Colby's Brooke Chandor answered with a three on an assist by Manduca, and Manduca's jumper gave the Mules a 25-22 lead. Bates then closed out the half by outscoring Colby 12-2 over the last six minutes, getting six straight points by Murphy on a pair of free throws followed by layups on assists by senior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) and Kelly. Kelly then converted a three-point play, and Hawkins fed her for a layup with 18 seconds left for the 34-27 score at the break. The Bobcats got 10 points from Murphy and nine more from Kelly in the first half for a 19-3 edge in points off the bench.
Both teams cooled off significantly in the second half, with Colby making 31.0% from the field and Bates connecting on 28.6% in the period, including 0-of-8 from behind the arc.
Bates went up by 10 points with a second-period-opening three-point play by Nason. Colby fought back to close the gap to four points, wiht a jumper by Jamie Wallace, a jumper by Manduca, a free throw by Desi Simth and Manduca's second 3-pointer of the day, making it 39-35 Bates with 15:28 left.
Bates junior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.) followed her own missed three with a putback to push Bates' lead back to six, at 41-35, and the Bobcats' advantage gradually expanded into double digits as the clock went under the 8:00 mark, with Nason's jumper at 7:54 prompting a timeout by Colby head coach Julie Veilleux with Bates ahead 50-40. Bates showed good patience on offense throughout the half, letting the clock wind down and getting off good shots or earning trips to the free-throw line. The Bobcats shot 20-25 from the line in the game, including 16-20 in the second half, while Colby made 3-of-7 foul shots for the game. Two freebies by Beaulieu gave Bates a game-high 15-point lead at 62-47 with 1:27 to go, and Colby's Smith made a layup with 20 seconds left for the final score.
Bates is now off until NESCAC play begins on Friday, Jan. 4, with Middlebury visiting Alumni Gym at 8pm.