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Women's hoops blows past Husson in home opener, 74-44

Meredith Kelly posted her third 20-plus point effort in as many games this season in a 74-44 win over Husson on Nov. 18, 2013. File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior Meredith Kelly scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the first half, staking the Bates women's basketball team to a 40-18 halftime lead en route to a 74-44 win over Husson University on Monday night in the Bobcats' home opener at Alumni Gymnasium.

Bates (2-1) moved over the .500 mark with its second straight win, while the Eagles started the season 0-1. 

First-year Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) recorded her second double-double in as many games, with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and was one of three players with double figures in rebounding, helping Bates to a 46-38 edge on the boards. Junior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) added 10 points and four assists. Sophomore Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) had a career-best 12 rebounds with eight points, and junior Allaina Murphy (Poland, Maine) grabbed 10 rebounds, including seven in the first half.

Husson junior Rebecca Young (Concord, Vt.) led the Eagles with 12 points, 10 of them in the first half. But no other Husson player scored more than six. Husson shot 28.3 percent from the field (17-60). Junior Rashell Saucier (Washburn, Maine) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

Bates never trailed in the game, starting off with 10 unanswered points and expanding its early lead to 17-2 less than seven minutes in. Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) started off with the first of her game-high three steals after the opening tip and was fouled at the other end and knocked down both free throws for a 2-0 lead. After a Murphy layup, Kelly tallied a three-point play, then made a three in the corner for the 10-0 advantage, on the first of fellow senior captain Julia Rafferty's (Reading, Mass.) seven assists.

Young put Husson on the board with a putback, but Bates rattled off the next seven points, including four points by Kelly and a 3-pointer by Calvo. 

A 6-0 spurt by the Eagles cut Bates' lead from 24 (33-9) to 18 (33-15) late in the first half, but the Bobcats answered with a 7-0 spurt in a span of 45 seconds, a run fueled by sophomore Leah Humes (Beaconsfield, Quebec). Humes made a jumper, then made a steal leading to a 3-pointer by first-year Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.). Humes then stripped a Husson guard a second straight time and streaked down the floor for a layup to bring Bates' lead to 25, at 40-15, with 1:53 left in the first. Husson first-year Kathryn Brochue's (Bangor, Maine) layup beat the buzzer to cut the halftime deficit to 40-18. Bates outscored Husson 22-2 in the period on points off turnovers, as the Eagles committed 14 giveaways in the half.

Husson took better care of the ball in the second half, with only five turnovers to Bates' 10, and the Eagles shot 35.7% from the floor after going just 7-32 (21.9%) in the first half. But the Bobcats still expanded their lead to as many as 32 before the final buzzer sounded, outrebounding Husson 24-14 in the period while shooting a healthy 48.3% from the field (14-29).

Kelly has scored 20 or more points in all three of Bates' games, with a 24.0 ppg average.
Bates returns to action on Thursday with a game at UMaine-Farmington starting at 7pm.