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Women's basketball beats Trinity 77-61, clinches spot in NESCACs

Chelsea Nason scored a career-high 22 points on Saturday. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Chelsea Nason scored a career-high 22 points and Nina Davenport tallied a double-double with 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Bates women's basketball team to a 77-61 victory over Trinity College Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, the Bobcats (7-13, 3-6 NESCAC) clinch a spot in the NESCAC Championships for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.

Nason '16 (Boxford, Mass.) came off the bench and shot 6-11 from the field and 3-6 from deep to spark the Bobcats. Nason also contributed two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Meanwhile Davenport '18 (Freeport, Maine) nailed a career-high six threes in 11 attempts. Her 15 rebounds helped the Bobcats win the rebounding battle 43-35.

Allie Coppola '17 (Tarrytown, N.Y.) notched yet another double-double of her own with 10 points and 12 boards. Coppola also dished out four assists. Bernadette Connors '17 (Windham, N.H.) was another Bobcat who put together a big game against was the Bantams (10-9, 0-8, NESCAC). She contributed 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. 

The start of the game foreshadowed the rest of the contest with Davenport nailing a three just 15 seconds into the contest, putting Bates up 3-0. 

Bates was down 12-10 late in the first quarter when Davenport drilled another triple to put the Bobcats up 13-12. She followed with another three with 1:18 to go in the first and Bates led 16-12 at the conclusion of the quarter.

They did not trail for the rest of the night.

Trinity hung around though and with five minutes to go in the game Bates only led by three points. 

Connors hit a three to put the Bobcats up 62-56 with 4:57 remaining. 

Up five with 2:52 left, Nason scored on a layup, starting a 9-0 Bates run to put the game out of reach. The Bobcats hit their free throws down the stretch to end up winning by 16. 

The Bobcats' three conference wins so far this season under first-year head coach Alison Montgomery are more than their previous two seasons combined. 

With a spot clinched in the NESCAC Championships, the Bobcats return home Tuesday for a non-conference game against Husson. Opening tip is set for 7:00 p.m. at Alumni Gym.