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Women's basketball pushes No. 17 Bowdoin to the brink, but falls 70-58

First-year Melanie Binkhorst scored her first collegiate points on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 against Bowdoin. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team led by as many as 10 points in the first half but the number 17 nationally ranked Bowdoin College Polar Bears doubled up Bates in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bobcats 70-58 in NESCAC action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gym.

Junior Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) led all scorers with 18 points on 6-10 shooting, including 5-7 from three. Senior co-captain Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) tallied yet another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She also dished out a team-high five assists. First-year Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench for the Bobcats (4-9, 1-1 NESCAC) and contributed seven points   

11 different players scored for the Polar Bears (11-2, 1-1 NESCAC) in the game. Lydia Caputi led Bowdoin with 13 points on 6-11 shooting. Kate Kerrigan notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Cordelia Stewart came off the bench to chip in 10 points for the Polar Bears.

The Polar Bears started the game on a 9-0 run. But senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) got Bates on the board with an old fashioned three-point play. After Bowdoin's Ally Silfen split a pair of free throws, Davenport nailed back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 10-9 with 6:44 left in the first quarter.

Syndey Hancock made a layup for Bowdoin with 4:33 left in the first but Davenport drilled her third three of the quarter just over a minute later, tying the game at 12.

Junior Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game with 2:39 to go in the first quarter, knocking down a three to put Bates up 15-12.

Caputi scored five unanswered points for the Polar Bears before Connors hit a three at the buzzer to put Bates up 18-17 at the end of the first quarter.

The Polar Bears outscored Bates in each of the remaining quarters, but not by much, until the fourth.

The Bobcats began the second quarter on a 6-0 run, culminating in another Davenport three to put them up 24-17. The teams traded buckets for awhile until Coppola's layup with 3:23 to go in the half extended the lead to 30-22.

Abigail Kelly drilled a three for Bowdoin but Binkhorst responded with a three of her own. Coppola made another layup and Bates led 35-25 with 1:47 left in the half.

Then the Polar Bears got rolling. They ended the half on a 10-0 run, taking advantage of three Bates turnovers along the way. 

The teams went into halftime tied at 35.

With 8:11 left in the third quarter, Davenport picked up her third foul, forcing Bates to do without her for the remainder of the quarter.

They acquitted themselves quite nicely, trading baskets with the Polar Bears throughout the quarter. Coppola led the way with four points while first-year Carly Christofi (Fairlawn, N.J.) and Henshaw both chipped in three.

Bates trailed 50-48 through three quarters of action.

The fourth quarter saw the Polar Bears score 20 points and Bates manage only 10. They traded baskets to start the quarter but Bowdoin quickly went on an 8-0 run, culminating in a Caputi layup to give them a 60-50 lead with 6:17 to go in the contest, their biggest lead of the game to that point.

The closest Bates came to Bowdoin after that was to within eight points thanks to a Davenport three with 3:40 left in the game, cutting the Polar Bears' lead to 64-56.

Cordelia Stewart responded with back-to-back layups to put Bowdoin up 12 with 1:49 left. 

Bowdoin out-rebounded Bates 10-4 in the fourth quarter and 45-33 in the game.

The Bobcats look to bounce back this upcoming Friday, Jan. 13, when they visit Hamilton. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.