No. 3 Amherst defeats women's basketball, 88-54

Chelsea Nason '16 saves the ball from going out of bounds in Bates' game against Amherst on Jan. 18, 2014. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 3 nationally ranked Amherst rebounded from its first loss of the season the night before to defeat the Bates women's basketball team with ease, 88-54, Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gym.

Hannah Peterson scored 30 points to lead the Lord Jeffs (15-1, 3-1 NESCAC), hitting 12-of-18 shots from the field, including 6-of-11 from behind the arc. Four other players reached double digits in scoring, led by Ali Doswell's 16-point, 11-rebound, 4-assist effort. Savannah Holness added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Marley Giddins and Meredith Doswell combined for 20 points and 20 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting from off the bench.

Amherst made 47.9 percent of its shots from the field, and often earned multiple chances to score on its possessions when it missed. The Lord Jeffs grabbed 21 offensive rebounds en route to a 57-34 edge on the boards and a 22-3 edge in second-chance points. Amherst suffered its first loss of the year Friday night at No. 7 Tufts.

Bates (7-9, 0-3 NESCAC) submitted a tireless effort in the loss, but was held to 30.9 percent shooting from the field, including a 28.6% rate in the first half, when Amherst built a commanding 46-24 lead. 

Bates senior Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) scored a team-high 19 points to go with four rebounds and three steals, while junior Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) pitched in 12 points with five boards and two steals. Sophomore Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) filled up the stat sheet with nine points, seven boards, three assist and a pair of steals, while first-year Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) had perhaps her best all-around game of the season with seven points, four rebounds and four assists. 

Amherst built its big lead in the first half while shooting a modest 43.6%, then maintained the lead in the second period with sharper offense, making 18-of-34 shots (.529). Peterson played all 20 minutes of the opening half and led the Lord Jeffs with 18 points.

A pair of free throws by Kelly with 10:24 remaining in the first half had the Bobcats hanging with the Lord Jeffs, trailing 19-13. But Meredith Doswell assisted Ali Doswell on a three-pointer in response, kicking off an 18-3 Amherst run over a five-minute span that proved decisive. Ali Doswell made another three in the run, Peterson scored five and Pritchard added three points.

Kelly's 19 points moved her past Matia Kostakis '08 into 15th place on Bates' all-time scoring list, now with 1,052.