LEWISTON, Maine -- Connecticut College built a 38-29 lead at halftime and preserved it with dominance on the offensive glass in the second half en route to a 70-61 NESCAC women's basketball victory over Bates College on Friday night in Alumni Gymnasium.
Connecticut College rose to 7-9 overall and 2-3 in NESCAC play, while Bates dipped to 8-8 and 2-3. The Camels play at Tufts tomorrow at 4pm; Bates hosts Wesleyan at the same time.
Caitlin Cimino led four Camels in double figures with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, to go with nine rebounds. Kayleen Murray added 13 points and eight boards from off the bench, while Kaitlyn Cresencia added 12 points and Tara Gabelman scored a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Senior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) scored a game-high 21 points for Bates and dished out six assists. Junior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.), senior Taryn O'Connell (Georgetown, Mass.) and sophomore Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) all tallied 10 points apiece in the losing effort.
The Camels outscored the Bobcats significantly in bench points (34-14), points in the paint (42-20) and second-chance points (28-19).
One second-half sequence seemed to say it all for the game. With 12:42 left in the second half, Aly Boyle made the first of two foul shots to give Conn College a 47-44 lead. Boyle missed the second, but Gabelman grabbed the rebound. After two misses and two more offensive boards, Cimino connected on a layup and was fouled. She missed the free throw, but Gabelman again rebounded the miss, and after another miss and offensive board by the Camels, Cimino found Gabelman for another layup and a 51-44 lead with 11:30 to go in the game -- 72 seconds of game clock all spent at Conn College's offensive end. Bates missed a jumper at the other end, and Murray then drained a three on a Carlee Smith assist, putting Conn College suddenly into a 10-point advantage at 54-44, with 10:51 to play.
Beaulieu hit two free throws, followed by her last of four 3-pointers in the game, on an assist by Julia Rafferty, and O'Connell followed with another three at the 5:00 mark to trim Conn's lead to three, at 60-57.
Cresencia then came through with a three-point play to deflate Bates' momentum, and after a Bates miss, Murray drove for a layup to bump the lead back to eight, at 65-57, with 2:07 remaining. Smith then tallied a three-point play after putting back her own miss, and with 1:07 left in the game and the Bobcats trailing 68-59, Beaulieu fouled out, stripping Bates of its top three-point threat.