LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior co-captain Allie Coppola pulled down 21 rebounds and added 10 points to lead the Bates women's basketball team to a 60-54 victory over Central Maine Community College in the Graef Memorial Classic Saturday afternoon.
Because the game was an exhibition contest, the result does not impact either team's statistics or overall record on the year.
Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) got plenty of support from junior Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) who tallied a game-high 19 points, and fellow senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) who dished out a game-high five assists while coming up big with a crucial three-point play late in the game.
After Nicole Hamblin made two free throws, Bates found themselves down 49-48 with less than five minutes to go in the game. Junior Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) split a pair of free throws to tie the game and first-year Carly Christofi (Fairlawn, N.J.) nailed a three to give Bates the lead for good with 4:01 left in regulation.
But the Mustangs made it interesting down the stretch. With less than a minute to go in the contest and Bates holding on to a three-point lead, Connors drove down the lane and scored, drawing a foul in the process. She drained the free throw to give Bates a 60-54 lead, clinching the win for the Bobcats.
Bates out-rebounded the Mustangs 45-27 and the Bobcats tallied 16 second chance points. But the Mustangs kept the game close by forcing 21 turnovers, constantly pressuring the ball up and down the court. They were able to score 20 points off Bates turnovers.
The Bobcats led by one point at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Freedland jumper with fives seconds remaining on an assist from Connors. Freedland scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three assists in the contest.
The second quarter was just as close with Bates taking a 28-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
With the score tied at 30 in the third quarter, Davenport took matters into her own hands. She made a jumper with 5:38 remaining and followed that up with back-to-back threes to extend the lead to 38-30. Then she made a layup with 2:47 to go, giving Bates a 10-point lead.
The Bobcats led the Mustangs by a score of 43-35 at the end of three quarters.
The Mustangs were able to out-score the Bobcats 19-17 in the fourth quarter but Bates held on for the win.
Bates hosts the University of Southern Maine Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.