Women's basketball cruises to NESCAC victory over Hamilton

Allie Coppola's seventh double-double of the season helped Bates defeat Hamilton in a NESCAC game on Jan. 15, 2016. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team jumped out to a 21-6 lead after one quarter and a 32-12 halftime edge en route to a 52-41 NESCAC victory over visiting Hamilton on Friday night, recording the first conference win of the season for the Bobcats and first-year head coach Alison Montgomery.

Bates (5-9, 1-2 NESCAC) held Hamilton (5-9, 1-2 NESCAC) to 21 points on 7-for-41 (.171) shooting from the field through the first three quarters, including 0-for-12 shooting from three-point territory. The Bobcats led by as many as 23 points and never trailed the Continentals.

The Continentals then outscored the Bobcats 20-11 in the final quarter to close the final margin to 11 points.

Sophomore Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) scored a game-high 17 points for Bates, while junior Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) added 13 points and 10 rebounds, her seventh double-double this season. Junior Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) totaled eight points and eight rebounds with team highs of four assists and two steals.

Carly Gruenberg had team highs of 12 points and four assits with six rebounds for Hamilton. Hamilton senior Sam Graber, who entered the game averaging 18.1 points per game, managed five points on 1-of-13 shooting before exiting the game in the fourth quarter with an injury. Graber led the Continentals with eight rebounds.

Bates outrebounded Hamilton 50-39 with 18 offensive boards leading to a 20-8 advantage in second-chance points.

Coppola's three-point play with 6:28 left in the first quarter gave Bates the lead for good at 5-2. Davenport then answered a jump shot by Lauren Getman by drilling a 3-pointer on her first shot of the game. 

Getman sank another jump shot on Hamilton's next trip, but Davenport made a jumper of her own before hitting another three for a 13-6 Bates lead and a Hamilton timeout with 4:31 to go in the period. 

After a Hamilton turnover, Connors penetrated the lane to convert a three-point play for a 16-6 Bates lead. Before the quarter expired, sophomore Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) assisted Coppola for a layup and Coppola assisted Freedland's three to make it 21-6 at the first break.

Bates will host Middlebury (8-5, 1-2 NESCAC) Saturday at 3pm, while Hamilton plays at Tufts (12-2, 3-0 NESCAC) at the same time.