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Engineers use big third quarter to defeat women's basketball 51-44

Lyse Henshaw scored a game-high 18 points in Bates' 51-44 loss to WPI on Dec. 19, 2016. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Without leading scorer Nina Davenport and key reserve Kelli Kennedy, the Bates women's basketball team fell to the WPI Engineers 51-44 Monday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. 

With Davenport '18 (Freeport, Maine) and Kennedy '20 (Milbridge, Maine) out due to injury, Bates (2-6) didn't back down against WPI (9-1) and actually outscored the Engineers in three of the four quarters on Monday. But a huge third quarter propelled WPI to the win. The Engineers outscored the Bobcats 24-5 in the third quarter to take a 41-24 lead into the final quarter of action. 

Both teams were a little rusty in the first half. Due to final exams, Bates hadn't played a game since December 10 and WPI hadn't played since December 7.

Junior Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) got the Bobcats off to a strong start when she converted a four-point play with 8:49 to go in the first quarter, putting Bates up 4-2. WPI answered right away and the two teams traded baskets, with Bates leading by as many as three before WPI grabbed a 10-9 lead with 1:49 to go in the first quarter on a Priscilla Dunphy jumper.

But Henshaw's layup with 31 seconds left in the quarter gave Bates an 11-10 advantage at the end of the first. 

Henshaw finished with a game-high 18 points, making four three-pointers in the contest.

With 5:26 to go in the second quarter and Bates up 14-12, Henshaw knocked down one of her four threes to extend the lead to 17-12. Sophomore Erika Lamere (Weston, Mass.) followed that up with a short baseline jumper to give the Bobcats their biggest lead of the game at 19-12.

But the Engineers responded with a 5-0 run to end the half. The teams headed into the locker rooms with Bates up 19-17.

WPI came out absolutely on fire in the third quarter, scoring the first 13 points of the quarter to take a 30-19 lead with 5:44 left on a Dunphy jumper.

Senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) stopped the bleeding with a three to cut the deficit to 30-22 with 5:11 left. But the Engineers responded with a 13-2 run to close the quarter, taking a 17-point lead over the Bobcats into the fourth quarter of action. The Engineers scored as many points (24) in the third quarter as Bates had in the game to that point. 

But the Bobcats bounced back with a strong fourth quarter, outscoring the Engineers by 10 to close out the game. 

Trailing 41-24, Henshaw nailed a three to start the fourth and junior Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) knocked down a triple of her own to help Bates begin the quarter on a 7-0 run. 

With 4:59 left in the contest, Connors cut the WPI lead to seven thanks to an old fashioned three-point play.

But that's as close as Bates got down the stretch as Dunphy responded with a three to put the Engineers up 46-36.

Dunphy and Stasha Greenalch paced the Engineers with 12 points each.

The Engineers shot 44.4% from the field and made the most of their five three-point attempts, draining four of them. Bates shot 31.3% from the field and lost the turnover battle 16-10. WPI scored 24 points off turnovers compared to 10 for the Bobcats.

Bates is back in action Thursday, December 29 at the Salem State Holiday Classic when they take on MIT at 1:00 on the campus of Salem State University.