KEENE, N.H. -- After an even first quarter of action, the Bates women's basketball team couldn't keep up with host Keene State down the stretch in a 61-45 loss Tuesday afternoon in the Bobcats' final game before the start of NESCAC play.
Amanda Petrow led all players with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Owls (7-5) while senior co-captain Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) paced the Bobcats (3-8) with 10 points and eight rebounds on the afternoon.
Bates jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the contest. Junior Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) opened the scoring with a three-pointer just 17 seconds into the game. Fellow junior Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) followed that up by hitting a jumper with 7:48 left in the first quarter. Petrow finally got the Owls on the board with 6:10 to go in the first by making a layup.
Keene State took their first lead of the game on a Lydia Vital three, putting them up 7-6 with 3:09 left in the first quarter. But Bates responded right away thanks to a three from first-year Carly Christofi (Fairlawn, N.J) and a Coppola jumper.
Up 11-7, Bates surrendered five unanswered points before Coppola nailed the first three of her career to put the Bobcats up 14-12.
A Vital layup with eight seconds to go in the quarter tied things up at 14 apiece at the end of one.
The Owls opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run and never trailed again. Henshaw cut the deficit to two with a three-pointer with 6:53 to go in the first half but that's as close as the Bobcats got the rest of the way.
Keene State went on an 11-2 run after the Henshaw three to extend their lead to 30-19. Bates pulled to within eight at the halftime break thanks to a Davenport three with 15 seconds to go in the second quarter.
After being out-scored by eight points in the second quarter, Bates hung tough in the third.
Down 44-31 after a Sarah Kober layup with 3:28 left, Bates responded thanks to a pair of made free throws from senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) and a Kelli Kennedy '20 (Milbridge, Maine) layup.
The Bobcats entered the fourth quarter trailing 44-35. The Owls quickly put an end to any comeback hopes for Bates thanks to an 8-0 run to start the final quarter of action.
A Rachel Bonnanzio three with 7:27 left in the game put Keene State up 52-35. Bates out-scored the Owls by one point down the stretch but couldn't cut into the deficit any further.
Bates looks to open NESCAC play on the right foot Friday when they host the Colby College Mules at Alumni Gym. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.