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Women's basketball falls to St. Lawrence, 68-59

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Senior Meredith Kelly scored a game-high 21 points, but Bates College women's basketball fell to St. Lawrence University, 68-59, at the Williams Classic hosted by Williams College in Chandler Gymnasium on Saturday night.

Taking to the court for the first time since Dec. 7, the Bobcats (6-5) lost to the Saints (3-4) who returned to the floor for the first time since Dec. 15.

Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) shot 11-of-11 from the free throw line and netted 20 or more points in a game for the ninth time this season. Sophomore Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) recorded 12 points to reach double figures for the fourth time this year, and senior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.) recorded nine points and a game-high five assists.

For the Saints, junior Kara McDuffee (Oswego, N.Y.) notched a double-double on 15 points and 11 rebounds, junior Allison Cady (Whitesboro, N.Y.) registered a team-best 17 points, and senior Kelly Legg (Fairport, N.Y.) added 10 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

The Saints opened the game with a 13-5 lead just under six minutes into the contest, but five straight points from Kelly cut the Bobcats' deficit to 13-10 at the 12:10 mark. From there, St. Lawrence pushed its edge back to eight at 22-14 with 6:24 to play in the first half.

Bates responded with an 8-3 spurt off 3-pointers from Rafferty and junior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) as well as a pair of free throws from Nason to pull within 25-22 with 4:13 remaining in the opening period. The Saints then scored eight of the stanza's final 11 points to bring a 33-25 lead into halftime.

The Bobcats started the second half with an 11-5 run to trim SLU's advantage to 38-36 just over three minutes into the frame. The Saints countered with an 11-1 stretch over the next two minutes to gain a 49-37 edge as Cady and McDuffee accounted for all of the team's points during the run.

Flipping the script once again, Bates utilized a 12-2 push to drop St. Lawrence's lead to 51-49 with 10:50 left. Nason (five points), Kelly (four), and Rafferty (three) provided the scoring over the spurt, but a 10-3 run from the Saints gave them a 61-52 edge with 6:33 to go. The Bobcats could move no closer than five points over the duration.

Next, Bates plays its second and final game in the Williams Classic against RPI tomorrow at 1 p.m. while St. Lawrence faces Williams at 3 p.m.