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Fast start propels Middlebury past women's basketball, 66-46

Senior co-captain Allie Coppola scored a career-high 27 points in the Bobcats' 64-44 loss to Middlebury on Saturday, January 14, 2017. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Senior co-captain Allie Coppola scored a career-high 27 points and recorded her fourth consecutive double-double for the Bates women's basketball team in a 66-46 loss to the Middlebury Panthers Saturday afternoon.

Senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H) chipped in 10 points but Bates struggled on offense, hitting only 1-13 threes as a team. 

Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by Sarah Kaufman, who tallied 15 points. Catherine Harrison notched a double-double of her own with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Panthers (11-3, 3-1 NESCAC) doubled up the Bobcats (5-10, 2-2 NESCAC) in the first quarter to set the tone for the game.

Bates only trailed 10-6 after a Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) jumper with 6:29 to go in the first quarter. But Middlebury proceeded to go on an 8-0 run, opening up a 12-point lead. Junior Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) made a pair of free throws at the end of the quarter and Bates trailed 20-10 heading into the second.

With Bates down 33-19 with 3:05 left in the second quarter, Coppola went on a personal 7-0 run, including a made three-pointer, to cut the deficit down to 33-26. A Lexie Nason '18 (Boxford, Mass.) layup with 18 seconds to go trimmed the deficit to five headed into halftime.

But the third quarter was not kind to Bates. Coppola opened the third quarter with a layup. After that, the Panthers went on a 15-0 run, opening up a 48-30 lead. Connors put a stop to the run with a jumper, but by then the hole was too deep for Bates to dig out of.

The Bobcats shot only 3-13 from the field in the third while getting outscored 19-6.

Connors and Coppola combined for all 12 of the Bobcats' points in the fourth quarter as the teams essentially traded buckets. Coppola finished the contest with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Bates is back in action on the road this Friday when they visit Connecticut College. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.