CASTLETON, Vt. -- Castleton saw its double-digit lead evaporate in the second half but never lost the lead and got a game-saving block from Meghan O'Sullivan in the last second to secure a 58-55 win over the Bates women's basketball team in the last game of the Rutland Herald Tip-Off Classic on Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) led the Bobcats with a career-high 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting with four 3-pointers. She also added a career-high 12 rebounds in earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
Sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) added 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) was in double figures with 15 points on 3-for-18 shooting from the floor.
The Bobcats trailed 58-55 with just nine seconds left as Bryanna DuPont stepped to the line for the first shot of a one-and-one. She missed the free throw and Bates raced the ball up the court. The team swung it around the perimeter looking for an open shot before senior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) was forced to hoist a three from the top of the arc with time running out. O'Sullivan read the play and leapt at the attempt, getting a few fingers on the ball as it fell short of the basket.
The Spartans held the Bobcats to just 28.1 percent shooting for the game and without a field goal over the final 5:10. Castleton finished at just 39.0 percent shooting for the game after making 5 of 25 attempts in the second half. The Spartans did outrebound Bates 48-41 as they improved to 2-0 with the win. The Bobcats dropped to 1-1 as they forced 15 Castleton turnovers which turned into 14 points.
Tournament MVP Jade Desroches led the offense with 17 points and seven rebounds but went 7-for-20 from the floor. O'Sullivan was picked to the All-Tournament team after putting up 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks. DuPont was solid with 10 rebounds, three assists, two points and zero turnovers in 30 minutes.
Castleton jumped out to a 9-3 lead on a trio of triples, including two from Lindsay Sabo, in the opening 92 seconds. The team extended its lead to 19-9 on a triple from Desroches with 13:13 left in the half. A personal 6-2 run by O'Sullivan made it 25-14 minutes later and Makayla Farrara extended it to 29-19 at 7:42 with a three. Bates responded with a 7-4 run to cut the lead to 33-26 with 3:27 left in the half, however, the Spartans outscored the Bobcats 10-2 over the final three minutes to go up 43-28 at the break.
The second half was a different story as a 9-4 run made it a ten-point game less three minutes into the period. At 10:44 junior Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) trimmed the deficit to 49-42 on a triple and four minutes later Connors hit another shot from beyond the arc to make it just 54-49. Desroches was fouled and made one of two free throws on Castleton's ensuing possession, but back-to-back jumpers by Brown and Calvo put Bates back just 55-53 with 5:10 remaining.
Brown eventually tied the game at 55 apiece on two free throws, but Desroches came back with a layup for a two-point lead with just 2:59 left. The Bobcats missed their next three shots and Desroches went 1-for-2 from the line at 1:38 for the 58-55 advantage. Bates' best chance to tie it up came as Brown launched a pair of threes with 21 and 12 seconds left. Neither fell, and DuPont eventually secured the rebound and was fouled to set up the final sequence.
Castleton (2-0), which advanced to the Sweet 16 last season, outrebounded Bates (1-1) 48-41 and outscored the Bobcats 27-10 in the paint.
Bates next plays at Husson on Tuesday at 7pm.
April 7, 2015 Jim Murphy retires as Bates women's basketball coach
March 12, 2015 72 Bobcats named NESCAC Winter All-Academic
March 11, 2015 Six Bobcats gain NESCAC All-Sportsmanship honors
March 11, 2015 Davenport named Maine Rookie of the Year
February 14, 2015 Women's hoops scores 77-67 overtime win over Colby in season finale
February 13, 2015 Women's hoops nears upset of No. 18 Bowdoin behind Davenport's 34
February 10, 2015 Women’s basketball comes up short in game with St. Joe's
February 7, 2015 Women's hoops nipped 60-54 at Hamilton
February 6, 2015 Women's basketball falls on the road at Williams
February 2, 2015 Davenport named New England Rookie of the Week by NEWBA
January 31, 2015 Connecticut College pulls away from women's hoops in second half
January 30, 2015 Davenport scores 29 points in women's hoops loss at Wesleyan
January 24, 2015 No. 5 Jumbos stifle women's basketball at Tufts
January 20, 2015 Davenport named Maine Rookie of the Week by MWBCA
January 17, 2015 No. 3 Amherst too much for women's hoops team
January 16, 2015 Bantams edge women's basketball, 67-64
January 9, 2015 Middlebury cools off women's hoops in NESCAC opener, 65-56
January 6, 2015 Brown leads women's basketball past Lasell, 57-52
January 5, 2015 Brown named player of the week by NESCAC, NEWBA, ECAC, MWBCA
January 3, 2015 Brown, women's basketball shoot past #22 Nor'easters, 76-72
December 31, 2014 Brown propels women's hoops to 80-57 win over Clark
December 30, 2014 MIT shoots past women's basketball at Bowdoin tourney, 84-71
December 3, 2014 Henshaw named Maine Rookie of the Week
December 3, 2014 Women's basketball runs past Maine-Augusta in second half, 80-66
November 30, 2014 Women's basketball falls to Colby for first time in five meetings, 79-54
November 25, 2014 Brown, Calvo spearhead comeback from 18 down to tip USM, 61-60
November 24, 2014 Women's basketball wins by 48 points at UMaine-Machias
November 22, 2014 Women's basketball goes cold in second half as Bowdoin pulls away, 65-48
November 20, 2014 Women's basketball romps to 97-61 win over UMF in home opener
November 18, 2014 Sophomores key women's basketball's 71-65 win at Husson
November 16, 2014 Women's hoops nearly upsets Castleton behind Connors, Coppola
November 15, 2014 Calvo, Brown pace women's basketball past Elms in season opener, 76-58
November 12, 2014 Women's Basketball Preview: Brown's back to lead deeper Bobcat squad