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Women's basketball romps to 97-61 win over UMF in home opener

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College women's basketball team made a team-record 15 3-pointers, including nine in the first half, in a 97-61 win over UMaine-Farmington on Thursday night in the Bobcats' home opener at Alumni Gymnasium.

Bates (3-1) made 9-of-17 threes in the first half and 15 of 30 in the game, with eight different players connecting from long distance. Junior Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points, making 4-of-6 from downtown, to lead the Bobcats, while sophomore Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) and senior Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) added 14 apiece, with both forwards adding five assists apiece. Senior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) dished out a career-high nine assists to go with six points, and sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) grabbed 12 rebounds with six points and three steals.

Nine Bates players who are newcomers to the roster this season received their most playing time to date, and the Bobcats outscored the Beavers 40-18 in points off the bench. First-year Alanna Morque (Rye, N.Y.) led bench players with nine points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in 16 minutes. Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) also scored nine and Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) added eight points.

Meghan Smith led the Beavers (0-3) with 14 points and five rebounds. Kelly Pomerleau pitched in 12 points and Elizabeth Ferry added 10. Lindsay Ranquist had five assists to go with seven points, three steans and four rebounds, and Kennadi Grover scored nine points off the bench.

After a Pomerleau layup made it 8-6 in Bates' favor early in the game, Bates embarked on a 23-2 run in a span of less than seven minutes. Nason began the burst with an offensive putback with 16:43 to go. Calvo fed Brown on a three-point play to make it 15-6 at 15:13, and Nason made her first three at 13:36 to make it 20-6. She made another three 13 seconds later on a Calvo feed before Brown joined in with a three on a Nason assist to make it 26-6 at the 11:33 mark. Brown then assisted Freedland on Bates' sixth three of the period for a 31-8 lead with 9:55 to go. Morque, Nason and Connors each canned an additional triple before the period concluded with Bates ahead 50-31.

The Bobcats picked up where they left off to start the second period, with Calvo draining a three nine seconds in and Brown making another on Bates' second possession, for a 56-31 lead. Back-to-back layups by Smith, assisted by Ranquist and Ferry, closed it to 56-35 before Nason connected on her fourth three of the game. Ferry's jumper and a free throw by Pomerleau cut the deficit back to 21 at 59-38, but that was as close as the Beavers would get the rest of the way. A three by Bates' Eve Zuckoff opened the lead up to 30 at hte 11:28 mark, and the Bobcat bench expanded the lead to as many as 37 points with 2:59 to go.

Bates' previous team record for 3-pointers in a game was 12, set on three previous occasions, most recently in February 2012 against UMaine-Presque Isle.

Bates next plays Saturday at 2pm at Bowdoin, in the rivals' annual non-conference matchup. UMaine-Farmington returns to action on Monday as the Beavers travel to Saint Joseph's (Me.) at 5:30pm.