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Women's basketball falls in defensive battle with Colby

Emily Freedland and the Bates women's basketball team fell 58-47 to Colby in a non-conference home game on Dec. 5, 2017 (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Colby College held the Bates College women's basketball team under 25 percent shooting from the field and received 19 points and nine rebounds from senior captain Katie McCrum in a 58-47 victory Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

The game was the annual non-conference matchup between the NESCAC and in-state rivals. Colby (3-3) and Bates (3-4) will meet in conference play on Jan. 6 in Waterville.

Haley Driscoll added 13 points for the Mules while Paige Russell grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and passed out a game-high five assists.

Nina Davenport weathered a tough shooting night (3-for-18 from the field) and led Bates with 12 points. Carly Christofi and Emily Freedland added nine points apiece, with Christofi and Davenport sharing the team lead with six rebounds apiece. Melanie Binkhorst made a game-high six steals.

Colby committed 24 turnovers against 12 for Bates and attempted only three free throws, but the Mules outrebounded Bates by a 46-27 margin and enjoyed a 26-10 edge in points in the paint.

Bates jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 3-pointers by Emily Freedland and Davenport, but the Mules narrowed the lead to 9-7 with a three and a jumper by McCrum on consecutive possessions. A pair of free throws by Driscoll tied the game at 9-9 by the end of the first quarter.

Another three by Freedland early in the second quarter and a three by Julia Middlebrook kept Bates close halfway through the quarter, offsetting a three-point play and a layup by Driscoll. But a layup by Emily Davis, assisted by Russell with 2:33 left in the half, began a 9-1 Colby run to finish the period. Jackie Albanese's second 3-pointer of the quarter dropped with three seconds left in the half, giving the Mules a 32-22 lead at the break. Russell and Ainsley Burns also knocked down shots in the final minute.

Colby assumed a 12-point lead on McCrum's layup with 4:42 to go in the third, but Bates whittled away at the lead to close the gap to five points (41-36) by the end of the period. Davenport made a three in Bates' 10-3 run, and the Bobcats made 5-of-9 free throws in the last three minutes of the period, including a pair by Binkhorst with five seconds left.

Colby made its first three shots of the final period, extending the lead to 48-41 despite a 3-pointer and a jumper by Christofi. A Bates turnover then led to a layup by Russell, and another Bates turnover was followed by a McCrum layup for a 52-41 Colby lead with 5:27 left. A pair of free throws by Bates' Taylor McVeigh weren't enough to counter two more hoops by McCrum on consecutive possessions, followed by a Driscoll layup assisted by Davis to give Colby a game-high 15-point lead, at 58-43, with 3:29 to go in the game.

Bates will host Bowdoin Saturday at 3pm in another non-conference game between NESCAC and in-state rivals. Colby will host Becker College Thursday at 7pm.