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Women's hoops cruises past Farmington, 63-39

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team held UMaine-Farmington to four points over the first 11 minutes and led wire-to-wire in a 63-39 non-conference victory on Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

Bates (2-3) won for the second time in as many nights, despite again missing the services of its leading scorer, sophomore Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.), and last season's leading scorer, junior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.). Sophomore guard Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) is also out with an injury, leaving the Bobcats with a thin eight-player rotation.

Bates travels to Williamstown, Mass., this weekend to take on Bridgewater State (Friday 8pm) and Rensselaer (Saturday 1pm) in the Williams Classic. UMF (0-4) next plays at Castleton State on Friday at 5:30pm.

Senior captain Taryn O'Connell (Georgetown, Mass.) led Bates with a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists, while senior captain Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) registered her first career double-double, with a career- and game-high 10 rebounds to go with 13 points and a team-high four assists.

Sophomore Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) added 10 points, five rebounds and five steals in an eventful 16 minutes of action, and first-year Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) scored nine points with five rebounds and four steals. Junior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.) collected nine boards, helping Bates to a 47-38 rebounding edge. Both Rafferty and Beaulieu played the entire 40 minutes.

Ayla Allen was the lone Beaver to score in double figures, wit 10 points to go with five rebounds. Lindsay Ranquist grabbed a team-high six boards and Kenni Norton dished out a game-high five assists.

The Beavers struggled offensively from the opening tap, shooting 5-for-27 in the first half (.185), including 1-for-13 from three-point territory (.077). UMF rebounded in the second half to shoot at a better clip than Bates in the second half, finishing the game at .281 (16-57) overall and .087 from behind the arc (2-23).

O'Connell hit a three to lead off the scoring two minutes into the game, and neither team scored again until Murphy canned her first career 3-pointer from the wing for a 6-0 lead six minutes into the game. The Beavers answered with their first points right afterward, as Mallory Bonnevie assisted Allen for a trifecta.

UMF was held to only a free throw over the next four minutes as Bates built a 20-4 lead, with hoops by Beaulieu, sophomore Hillary Throckmorton (Bangor, Maine), Rafferty and senior Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine). UMF got off the mat to score 10 points over the last 8:27, though O'Connell finished off the half with another three, assisted by Rafferty, giving Bates a 31-14 lead at the break. O'Connell led Bates in the first half with 10 points, while Allen had six to lead UMF.

Kelsey Graffam scored back-to-back hoops, both on Norton assists, cutting Bates' lead to 13 to open the second half and prompting a quick timeout by Bates head coach Jim Murphy. The Bobcats clamped down defensively out of the timeout, holding the Beavers to 2-of-9 shooting over the next 5 1/2 minutes while building the lead back to 18, at 40-22, thanks to a pair of threes by Beaulieu and another three by O'Connell.

Bonnevie followed a layup by Allen with a three-pointer to cut Bates' lead to 15 for the last time, at 47-32 with 9:00 left in the game. Hawkins then made a free throw and followed it with a 3-pointer, the third of her career, to bump the lead to 51-32.

Then Nason, who hadn't scored any points yet, exploded for all nine of her points in a span of 2:29. She canned a three on a nice swing pass by Beaulieu, then made a layup for a 56-34 Bates lead. As the clock dipped under the 5:00 mark, Nason stole UMF passes and converted the layup at the other end on two straight Beaver possessions, opening up a 61-37 lead that UMF couldn't make up with 4:37 left to go.