LEWISTON, Maine -- Seniors Allie Beaulieu and Taryn O'Connell scored 20 points each, and first-year Chelsea Nason added 12 points and 10 rebounds, as the Bates women's basketball team defeated the University of New England 59-58 in overtime on Tuesday night, in the Bobcats' best performance of the season thus far.
Beth Suggs led the Nor'easters (4-2) with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Kelly Coleman added eight points and 10 boards.
Bates (3-5) received a combined 16-for-25 shooting from Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) and O'Connell (Georgetown, Mass.), including 8-of-15 from behind the arc, while the rest of the team combined to shoot 6-of-35 from the floor.
UNE scored the first three points of the overtime period on free throws -- overall, the Nor'easters were 16-26 from the line, while Bates went 4-8. Coleman made the second of two freebies for a 57-54 lead with 2:36 left.
Nason (Boxford, Mass.) erased the lead when she drained her third 3-pointer of the night from near the top of the arc with 1:39 to go, after Beaulieu found her open on a swing pass.
UNE had three chances on its next trip down the floor but missed all three shots. Alanna Vose's offensive rebound kept the ball with the Nor'easters, but Bates senior Brianna Hawkins (South Portland, Maine) stole a UNE pass with 52 seconds left to return the ball to Bates. With 40 seconds left and the game tied, Beaulieu sank a jumper from the elbow for a 59-57 Bates lead.
UNE turned the ball over, but Beaulieu missed a chance to salt the win away when she was intentionally fouled but missed the front end of a one and one. Lauren Hayden was then fouled with six seconds to play. Hayden missed her first foul shot but made the second, and the Nor'easters fouled Hawkins, who also missed a front end foul shot. UNE called back-to-back timeouts and inbounded the ball from midcourt with three seconds still on the clock, but failed to get a final shot off.
Bates maintained a single-digit lead for the first 35 minutes of the contest, but the Nor'easters clawed into their first lead as Gribbin converted a three-point play for a 49-47 UNE advantage with 4:41 left in regulation. Bates' O'Connell and Hawkins sandwiched a jumper by UNE's Hayden with buckets of their own -- O'Connell fed Hawkins down low for a layup that tied the game at 51-51 with 3:05 to play. With 1:12 to go, Sadie DiPierro made her third three of the night out of a set play after a UNE timeout for a 54-51 lead. Nason made 1-of-2 at the line to chip a point off the lead, and with 17 seconds to go in regulation, Hawkins fed O'Connell underneath for a layup that tied the game once again. Hayden's bid for a game-winning shot at the buzzer missed the mark, sending the teams into overtime.
Beaulieu, Nason and junior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.) all played the full 45 minutes for Bates, as did Suggs for UNE. Rafferty tallied six assists and eight rebounds and probably led all players in floor burns, which is saying something in this hard-fought, scrappy game from both sides.
Hayden contributed nine points, six rebounds and a game-high three steals for the Nor'easters, who will host Colby on Thursday at 7pm.