LEWISTON, Maine -- Facing first-place and 18th-ranked Bowdoin and owning an eight-game losing streak, the Bates women's basketball team surprised observers by making a run at the Polar Bears before ultimately falling 74-67 on Friday night in Alumni Gymnasium, as Bowdoin earned its 18th consecutive victory.
Bates (9-14, 0-9 NESCAC) erased a game-high 14-point deficit with 12:26 left in the second half with a 26-11 run, taking the lead briefly at 60-59 with 4:52 left to play. Bowdoin (21-2, 9-0 NESCAC) responded with a 10-2 run to resume control of the game.
The Bobcats finish their season on Saturday, hosting Colby at 3pm. Bowdoin plays at No. 4 Tufts (22-1, 9-0) on Saturday at 3pm to determine the top seed in next week's NESCAC Championship tournament.
First-year forward Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) scored a season-high 34 points for the Bobcats, including 20 in the first half, but Bowdoin's Sara Binkhorst countered with 29, including 7-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point arc, to pace the Polar Bears. Shannon Brady contributed 15 points and eight rebounds for Bowdoin, while Kate Kerrigan added 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Bates sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) had 11 points and a game-high nine boards, while junior Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) pitched in nine points, all scored on 3-pointers in the second half, to go with eight rebounds.
Bowdoin scored the first 12 points of the contest, powered by threes from Binkhorst and Kerrigan. Bates netted its first points with a pair of free throws by sophomore Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) at the 14:25 mark, and Davenport made it 12-4 with a defensive rebound and a coast-to-coast layup. Davenport knocked down a jumper and followed with her first three to close the gap to 14-9 and prompt a Bowdoin timeout at 10:38.
A three by Bates senior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.) and a Davenport jumper closed the gap to 22-18, but Lydia Caputi responded with a three, and Binkhorst scored a three-point play with 3:28 to go to expand the edge into double digits (28-18).
Davenport was still warming up, however, and she rattled off seven unanswered points, nailing a three to narrow the gap to 28-25 and prompt another Bowdoin timeout at 2:03. The Polar Bears finished the half with a 7-0 run, capped by a Binkhorst three in the final seconds, for a 35-25 halftime lead.
Binkhorst continued to thwart Bates' defense, drilling threes at 13:43 and 12:26 of the second half to open up a 48-34 advantage. Bates began chipping away with a pair of Davenport free throws, and unanswered hoops by first-year Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.), Coppola, first-year Jackie Welch (Falmouth, Maine) and Connors closed the gap to 48-44. Binkhorst answered with a three, followed by a three-point play by Siena Mitman for a 54-46 lead, prompting a Bates timeout with 8:00 to go.
Nason drained her first three out of the timeout with 7:48 to go in the game, closing the gap to 54-49, but Binkhorst responded with another three of her own. After a layup by Bowdoin's Marle Curle at 6:51, Coppola converted a three-point play to start a run of nine unanswered points by the Bobcats, combined with threes by Nason and Davenport, the latter of which put Bates on top for the first and only time in the game at 60-59.
Binkhorst again had the answer for Bowdoin, calmly sinking a 15-foot jumper to regain the lead, and Kerrigan followed with a pair of free throws, then a steal and a layup for a 65-60 lead. Bowdoin made 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
April 7, 2015 Jim Murphy retires as Bates women's basketball coach
March 12, 2015 72 Bobcats named NESCAC Winter All-Academic
March 11, 2015 Six Bobcats gain NESCAC All-Sportsmanship honors
March 11, 2015 Davenport named Maine Rookie of the Year
February 14, 2015 Women's hoops scores 77-67 overtime win over Colby in season finale
February 13, 2015 Women's hoops nears upset of No. 18 Bowdoin behind Davenport's 34
February 10, 2015 Women’s basketball comes up short in game with St. Joe's
February 7, 2015 Women's hoops nipped 60-54 at Hamilton
February 6, 2015 Women's basketball falls on the road at Williams
February 2, 2015 Davenport named New England Rookie of the Week by NEWBA
January 31, 2015 Connecticut College pulls away from women's hoops in second half
January 30, 2015 Davenport scores 29 points in women's hoops loss at Wesleyan
January 24, 2015 No. 5 Jumbos stifle women's basketball at Tufts
January 20, 2015 Davenport named Maine Rookie of the Week by MWBCA
January 17, 2015 No. 3 Amherst too much for women's hoops team
January 16, 2015 Bantams edge women's basketball, 67-64
January 9, 2015 Middlebury cools off women's hoops in NESCAC opener, 65-56
January 6, 2015 Brown leads women's basketball past Lasell, 57-52
January 5, 2015 Brown named player of the week by NESCAC, NEWBA, ECAC, MWBCA
January 3, 2015 Brown, women's basketball shoot past #22 Nor'easters, 76-72
December 31, 2014 Brown propels women's hoops to 80-57 win over Clark
December 30, 2014 MIT shoots past women's basketball at Bowdoin tourney, 84-71
December 3, 2014 Henshaw named Maine Rookie of the Week
December 3, 2014 Women's basketball runs past Maine-Augusta in second half, 80-66
November 30, 2014 Women's basketball falls to Colby for first time in five meetings, 79-54
November 25, 2014 Brown, Calvo spearhead comeback from 18 down to tip USM, 61-60
November 24, 2014 Women's basketball wins by 48 points at UMaine-Machias
November 22, 2014 Women's basketball goes cold in second half as Bowdoin pulls away, 65-48
November 20, 2014 Women's basketball romps to 97-61 win over UMF in home opener
November 18, 2014 Sophomores key women's basketball's 71-65 win at Husson
November 16, 2014 Women's hoops nearly upsets Castleton behind Connors, Coppola
November 15, 2014 Calvo, Brown pace women's basketball past Elms in season opener, 76-58
November 12, 2014 Women's Basketball Preview: Brown's back to lead deeper Bobcat squad