LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior Molly Brown poured in 31 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead the Bates College women's basketball team to a comeback win over No. 22 nationally ranked University of New England on Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gym.
Playing in only their second road game of the season, UNE dropped to 5-2, while Bates rose to 8-4, including a 4-0 home record.
Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) made 5-of-7 3-pointers in the second half, including 4-of-4 in the final 5:05, en route to her career-high point total. Her second-half heroics were reminiscent of Bates' 61-60 win over Southern Maine on Nov. 25, when Brown scored 18 points in the second half to overcome a double-digit deficit.
Brown made 7-of-11 attempts from behind the arc for the game. Her seven threes breaks the team record of six, which had been performed six previous times in team history: ties the team single-game record with six past performances: three times by Lauren Dubois '04, twice by Allie Beaulieu '13 and once by Carla Flaherty '03.
Alanna Vose's 3-pointer with 9:08 left in the half boosted UNE's lead into double digits for the final time, at 52-42. A three-point play by Bates first-year Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) quickly cut the deficit to 52-45 seconds later.
Bates sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) hit a putback on a missed free throw by Brown, then answered a missed three by UNE's Sadie DiPierro to close the gap to 54-52 with 5:36 left. Vose nailed another three, assisted by Lauren Hayden, but Brown answered with back-to-back threes at the 5:05 and 4:36 marks of the half, both assisted by senior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.), as Bates asserted a 58-57 lead, its first since it was 7-6.
Brown and Vose traded pairs of free throws for a 62-62 tie with 3:09 left, and Brown made her fourth three of the half with 2:49 to go for a 65-62 lead that the Bobcats would not relinquish. UNE's Kelly Coleman countered with a layup, but on Bates' next possession, with the Nor'easters overplaying Brown, Calvo stepped up to make an open three for a 68-64 lead.
Vose drained another three of her own to narrow the gap to 68-67, but two possessions later, Brown's fifth three of the game fell through for a 71-67 lead with 55 seconds left.
Hayden made a layup and was fouled but missed the free throw, and at the other end Coppola's jump shot gave Bates a four-point cushion at 73-69 with 20 seconds left. The Nor'easters missed and got their own rebound but turned the ball over, forcing them to foul Brown with nine seconds left. Brown made 1-of-2 at the line, and Coppola's steal at the other end forced UNE to foul her. Coppola made both foul shots for a 76-69 lead, and at the buzzer, UNE's Sam MacDonald hit a final shot from halfcourt to account for the final score, at 76-72.
Hayden led UNE with 19 points and 10 10 rebounds. Kelly Coleman added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Vose also scored 14, including 11 in the second half. Meghan Gribbin passed out six assists.
Sophomore Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and added four assists. Coppola finished with 18 points and six boards for Bates, and Calvo contributed eight assists. Brown hauled in nine rebounds.
UNE pulled away twice from Bates in the first half but the Bobcats were able to pull back even. A layup by Hayden with 2:04 left in the period, however, began an 8-0 Nor'easter run that gave them a 36-27 halftime lead. Coleman scored four points in the run, including a buzzer-beating putback off a Hayden missed jumper. Hayden and Brown both had 12 points to lead their respective squads at the break.
Bates will host Lasell College on Tuesday at 7pm.