No. 24 Camels withstand Bobcats' second-half comeback

Bernadette Connors led Bates with 17 points in a 70-53 loss to Connecticut College on Jan. 22, 2016. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 24 nationally ranked Connecticut College dominated the first half and withstood a second-half rally by the Bates College women's basketball team to win 70-53 in a NESCAC game Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

The visiting Camels (14-2, 4-1 NESCAC) held Bates (5-11, 1-4 NESCAC) to 4-of-31 shooting from the field, including 0-11 from three-point territory, to build a 35-15 halftime lead. Bates shook off its doldrums and outscored Conn 23-10 in the third quarter, and closed within three points of the Camels, at 50-47 with 6:49 left in the fourth quarter. Conn responded with a 20-3 run over the next six minutes to pull away with the victory.

Payton Ouimette led four Camels in double figures with 17 points. Kylie Caouette added 13 points and five assists, Willa McKinley scored 12 points, and Mairead Hynes added a double-double with 11 points, 15 rebounds and two blocked shots. Liz Malman contributed eight points, five assists and four steals to the Camels' cause.

Junior Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) led Bates with 17 points, adding in four assists and eight rebounds. Sophomore Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) overcame an 0-for-9 shooting performance in the first half to score 12 points to go along with three steals in the game. Sophomore Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) scored 10 points, including three 3-pointers to kick-start Bates' third-quarter comeback attempt. Junior Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Bates.

Davenport scored four unanswered points with a pair of free throws, followed by a steal and a breakaway layup to close the gap to 50-47. McKinley answered with a jumper, followed by a 3-pointer with 5:52 to go to bump Conn's lead back to eight (55-47).

McKinley fed Malman for an alley-oop layup, and a free throw by Ouimette expanded the lead to 58-48 before Coppola answered with a hoop underneath with 4:24 left.

McKinley responded again with another dagger, catching a pass from Malman and quickly splashing in a three that made it 61-50 with 4:03 to go. The shot started a run of 12 unanswered points for the Camels to put the game away.

Bates hosts Wesleyan University on Saturday at 3pm.