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Kelly's 21 leads women's hoops over RPI, 68-51

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Senior Meredith Kelly led five Bobcats in double figures with 21 points as Bates College women's basketball beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 68-51, at the Williams Classic on the campus of Williams College in Chandler Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.

The Bobcats (7-5) captured an early 10-2 lead in the contest and held a double-digit edge over the Engineers (2-7) for the game's final 25 minutes.

Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) added nine rebounds and six steals and has recorded 20 or more points in each of 10 games this season. Sophomore Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) notched her first double-double of the season and the second of her career behind 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Senior Julia Rafferty (Reading, Mass.), junior Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine), and first-year Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) each tallied 10 points – a season-high for Rafferty. Coppola shot 4-of-4 from the field and chipped in seven rebounds.

For the Engineers, sophomore Ashley Clough (West Chesterfield, N.H.) posted team highs with 14 points and eight rebounds while sophomore Ellen Boucher (Williston, Vt.) netted nine points.

The Bobcats jumped out to their 10-2 lead just over five minutes into the game with six points from Murphy. Bates extended its edge to 21-7 at the 10:45 mark of the first half before RPI countered with an 8-2 spurt to pull within 23-15 with less than six minutes to go in the opening frame.

In answer, Bates rattled off 10 consecutive points to stake a 33-15 lead with 3:46 left in the half as Rafferty capped the run with five points on a 3-pointer and a jump shot. The Bobcats then took a 33-17 advantage into the break.

Bates pushed its edge to 45-21 with 15:10 remaining and increased its lead to as large as 29 points, at 58-29, with 9:25 to play after five straight points from junior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.). The Engineers used a 17-2 run to cut their deficit to 60-46 with 3:18 left but could get no closer.

Next, Bates starts NESCAC play at Middlebury on Friday at 6 p.m. while RPI hosts William Smith at the same date and time in its Liberty League opener.