No. 4 Tufts stops women's hoops, improves to 20-0

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 4 nationally ranked Tufts University slowed the Bates College women's basketball team's offense down to a virtual standstill and came with a 55-34 win over the Bobcats in a NESCAC game played Saturday in Alumni Gym.

The Jumbos preserved their perfect record, rising to 20-0 overall and 7-0 in NESCAC play. Bates (9-9, 3-4 NESCAC) dipped to the .500 mark.

Tufts seemed to make every pass thrown by a Bates player a trial, forcing 27 turnovers and compelling Bates to rush many of its shots. The Bobcats were held to 29.5% shooting (13/44) from the field in the game, including 7.7% (1/13) from three-point territory.

Hannah Foley led the Jumbos with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds, and was the only Jumbo to score in double figures. Kate Barnosky added nine points and six boards, and Kelsey Morehead contributed eight points and a game-high three assists. Ali Rocchi scored six points and made four steals in her disruptive 15 minutes off the bench.

Senior center Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) was the only Bates player to reach double figures in scoring, with 11 points. Hawkins also led Bates in rebounding with seven and made a pair of steals. Such Bates stalwarts as junior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.), sophomore Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.), senior Taryn O'Connell (Georgetown, Mass.) and junior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.) were all held to season-lows in scoring, and senior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) was also limited to a subpar eight points.

Bates was successful in outrebounding Tufts by a 36-33 margin and holding the Jumbos to 36.7% shooting from the floor.

Bates had early leads of 8-4 and 13-9 and stayed toe-to-toe with Tufts over the opening 10 minutes of the game. Kelly's three-point play with 9:45 to go in the half closed the Jumbos' lead to 18-16 after Tufts had run off nine unanswered points, including two hoops by Rocchi and a three by Liz Moynihan.

But Bates went and committed six turnovers over the last nine minutes of the opening period, as Tufts finished out the half with a 14-1 run. Foley kicked off the run with a three, assisted by Emma Roberson, with 7:25 left, and Morehead finished it off with a three-point play with 40 seconds to go, sending Tufts into halftime with a 32-17 lead.

The lead ballooned to 23 points as Tufts opened up the second half with a layup by Foley and a layup by Bre Dufault, followed by a quick 8-0 run featuring a Barnosky layup sandwiched by two more threes by Foley, which made it 44-21 with 15:59 to play. Tufts' lead stayed in the twenties the rest of the way.

Bates has a non-league game at St. Joseph's College of Maine also on Tuesday at 7 (Live Stats / Video).