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Women's basketball rides big first half to 59-49 victory over Williams

Chelsea Nason '16 scored 10 points in her final game at Alumni Gym to help Bates beat Williams 59-49 on Feb. 14, 2016. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

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LEWISTON, Maine -- Nina Davenport scored a season-high 26 points and notched a double-double with 13 rebounds to lead the Bates women's basketball team to a 59-49 win over Williams Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gym.

It's the program's first win over the Ephs (17-7, 5-5 NESCAC) at Alumni Gym since the 2008-2009 season. Bates' defense held the Ephs' two leading scorers to a combined 4-32 shooting in the contest. 

Bates (9-13, 4-6 NESCAC) finishes the regular season with their most NESCAC regular season wins since they also notched four in 2012-2013. They play at Amherst in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday. 

On senior day at Alumni Gym, the Bobcats' lone senior, Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) scored 10 points and hauled in three rebounds. 

But Davenport '18 (Freeport, Maine) was the star of the show, nailing 6-10 threes to match her career-high. Her 13 rebounds marks the fourth consecutive game the sophomore has finished in double figures in boards. 

Davenport got the Bobcats off to a fast start, hitting a pair of threes early in the first quarter to put Bates up 11-9. 

Nason hit a driving layup to extend the Bates lead to 13-9 with 4:25 left in the first quarter. Williams was forced to call an early timeout. 

Both teams struggled to finish at the rim down the stretch in the first. With under a minute to go and Bates up 13-11, Bernadette Connors '17 (Windham, N.H.) hit a 15-footer to extend the lead to 15-11. 

Nason got the second quarter off on the right foot with a three from the right wing to open up an 18-11 advantage for the Bobcats. She followed that up by converting a fast break layup and a short Emily Freedland '18 (Marblehead, Mass.) jumper forced Williams to call time with Bates up 22-11.

An Allie Coppola '17 (Tarrytown, N.Y.) baseline jumper followed by another Davenport three gave Bates a 27-14 lead with 4:54 to go in the second quarter. 

At the half, Bates led 31-20 behind 13 points from Davenport and eight from Nason.

Connors sparked the Bobcats to start the third quarter with an old fashioned three-point play, and after a 4-0 Ephs run, another Connors bucket made it 36-26 in favor of Bates. She finished the game with 11 points on 5-11 shooting. Connors also dished out a game-high six assists. 

After an Ephs basket, Coppola scored and put Bates up 38-28 with 1:49 remaining in the third quarter. The junior tallied six points and nine rebounds.

The third quarter ended with the Bobcats on top 40-30.

After the Ephs hit a pair of free throws to start the fourth, Davenport knocked down another three to make it 43-32 with 8:46 to go. 

Devon Caveney hit a three for Williams but Davenport responded with another triple of her own.

Williams cut the Bates lead to 48-40 with 4:35 remaining in the contest. The Bobcats forced an Ephs turnover and called time.

Facing full court pressure from the Ephs, Davenport hit a dagger three with 2:35 remaining, extending the lead to 51-40.

Up 51-42, Connors scored on a layup to put the Bobcats back up by 11.

Out of a timeout, Oge Uwanaka converted an old fashioned three-point play, cutting the Bates lead to 53-45.

Caveney's driving layup with 58.4 seconds remaining made it 53-47 in favor of Bates.

The Ephs' late rally was effectively snuffed out by Lyse Henshaw '18 (Brunswick, Maine) hitting four free throws down the stretch. Nason capped off her senior day with the final two free throws to provide the final margin of victory.