No. 3 Amherst too much for women's hoops team

Nina Davenport had nine points, four rebounds and three steals in Bates' loss to Amherst on Jan. 17, 2015. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 3 nationally ranked Amherst College returned to the winning column after a one-game interruption, dealing the Bates College women's basketball team its worst defeat of the season, 82-47, in New England Small College Athletic Conference action on Saturday in Alumni Gym.

The visiting Jeffs improved to 15-1, 3-1 in NESCAC play, following Friday night's loss at Tufts. Bates, playing without injured senior standout Molly Brown for the second straight game, dropped to 9-7 overall and 0-3 in conference.

Ali Doswell led four Jeffs in double figures with 17 points, to go with five rebounds and four assists. Hannah Peterson scored 15, Marley Giddins added 14 and Hannah Hackley scored 10 points with four assists. Meredith Doswell led Amherst with five assists and three steals.

Sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) paced the Bobcats with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, while sophomore Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) chipped in 10 points. First-year Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) contributed nine points, four rebounds and three steals, in perhaps her best game to date.

Amherst made 50 percent of its shots from the field (33-66) and 43.5% from beyond the three-point arc (10-23). 

The Jeffs were particularly dominant in the first half, shooting 55.6% overall (20-36) and 50% from three-point territory (7-14). Meanwhile they limited Bates to 30.8% shooting (8-26), including 0-for-6 on three-point attempts, and also outrebounding the Bobcats 21-11 en route to an insurmountable 49-19 lead at intermission. Ali Doswell scored 17 points in the first half, making 7-of-9 shots, and Peterson had 15 at the break on 6-of-8 shooting. Coppola had 13 of Bates' 19 points in the opening half.

Ali Doswell and Peterson made back-to-back threes at 15:03 and 14:28 of the first half, assisting each other on the two hoops, as Amherst opened the game with a 20-2 lead in less than six minutes. Late in the period, Ali Doswell and Peterson bookended a Coppola layup with two more threes for a 32-point lead, at 49-17. Bates sophomore Alexa Goldman (Swampscott, Mass.) made two free throws before the break to close it to 49-19.

Amherst continued to make its threes to start the second half, making any comeback attempt futile on Bates' part. Taylor Smith and Hackley drained treys that sandwiched a Connors jumper for a game-high 42-point Amherst advantage, with 12:07 left in the game, at 68-26.

Bates then went on a 14-6 run to cut it to 74-40, after Connors completed a three-point play with 7:50 on the clock. Davenport made back-to-back hoops in the run, which first-year Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) kick-started with a 3-pointer.

Bates will next play at Tufts on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3pm.