LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Bernadette Connors scored 18 points and first-year Nina Davenport, junior Chelsea Nason and sophomore Allie Coppola all had double-doubles as the Bates women's basketball team finished the 2014-15 season with a 77-67 overtime victory over Colby in NESCAC play on Saturday in Alumni Gym.
Bates finishes 10-14 overall and gained its first conference win to finish 1-9. It was the Bobcats' first win in 11 games, the last 10 of which were without injured leading scorer and captain Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.). Brown and fellow senior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) were Senior Day honorees in their final collegiate games. Calvo had nine points and five assists before fouling out early in overtime.
Carylanne Wolfington scored a game-high 23 points with seven rebounds for Colby (16-8, 4-6 NESCAC). MaryKate Caverly and Caitlyn Nolan scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, before fouling out. Mia Diplock and Nolan had five steals apiece, but Diplock shot 1-for-12 from the field, including 0-7 from beyond the arc, to finish with nine points. The Mules will play a road game next weekend in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC tournament, against an opponent to be determined.
Connors (Windham, N.H.) scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, while Nason (Boxford, Mass.) netted 13 of her 15 points in the same period. Nason finished with 10 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Davenport (Freeport, Maine), less than 24 hours after dropping 34 points on Bowdoin, totaled 17 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the win, and Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) pitched in with 13 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. It is the first time in at least a decade that the Bobcats have had three players notch double-doubles in the same contest.
Colby led by as many as 14 points en route to a 30-19 advantage at the half, despite shooting 31.4 percent (11-35) from the field. Bates gave the ball away 11 times in the opening half, compared to four for Colby, and was held to 28.0% shooting (7-25). Wolfington had 11 points and six rebounds in the opening period, while Davenport paced the Bobcats with seven points and eight boards.
Bates tied the game at 10-10 with a layup by Davenport, before Colby's 12-2 run made it 22-12. Wolfington hit back-to-back threes in a 38-second span during the spurt. Aggressive drives for layups by Diplock and Brooke Chandor, combined with passive defense by the Bobcats, expanded Colby's lead to 28-14 with 3:32 to go.
Coppola led off the second-half scoring with a putback, starting Bates on a 12-3 lead that closed the gap to 33-31 with 14:26 left in regulation. Caverly drilled a three on a Lauren Barnhart assist for Colby, but Connors responded with a three 14 seconds later, returning the gap to two points with her ninth point in a span of 2:28. With 12:31 to play, Davenport's steal and layup gave Bates a 40-39 lead, its first since the score stood at 8-7.
A layup by Colby's Haley Driscoll tied the game at 42-42, and Bates then turned the ball over on three straight possessions, while Colby retook a five-point lead on a Nolan layup and a Wolfington three with 8:43 left.
Bates cut back in as first-year Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) hit a deep three off a kickout from Coppola, and another Coppola kickout led to a game-tying three by Calvo, making it 48-48 with 6:44 left. Calvo then set up a Davenport jumper for the lead. As regulation time began to run out, neither team could hold on to a lead. Bates went up 59-56 on a layup by Nason with 2:30 to go. Caverly responded with an unassisted layup to cut it to one, and after a missed three by Calvo, Davenport fouled Diplock. Diplock missed her first free throw but tied the game at 59-59 on the second with 1:14 left in the game.
Neither team could find the bottom of the net over the final 74 seconds of regulation. Colby had the ball with 30 seconds remaining and called three consecutive timeouts before turning the ball over with five seconds to go. Bates was unable to get a final shot off, and the game was sent into overtime. The second half featured seven ties and five lead changes.
Coppola won the overtime-opening tipoff and Bates immediately went ahead, as Connors hit a streaking Nason for a layup five seconds in. Nason then stole the ball, Calvo rebounded a missed three by Davenport, and seconds later drained a three for a 64-59 lead, Bates' largest of the game to that point.
Colby closed it to 64-61 wiht a pair of Caverly free throws, but a Coppola steal led to a back-breaking Nason three in the corner with 2:21 left for a 67-61 lead. The overtime period got away from Colby after that, as Bates expanded its lead to as many as 13 points in the final minute. Wolfington hit consecutive threes at the 0:43 and 0:36 marks to draw Colby within seven (74-67), but it was too late for the Mules.
Davenport, who joined the Bobcats in December as a first-year transfer student, finished the year ranked second in the NESCAC for scoring average in conference games, averaging 17.5 points in Bates' 10 NESCAC games.