No. 9 Tufts pulls away in fourth quarter to defeat Bates women's basketball, 68-53

Allie Coppola pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds on Saturday. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- For three quarters, the Bates women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with No. 9 Tufts but the Jumbos out-scored the Bobcats 21-6 in the fourth quarter to pull away and win 68-53 Saturday at Alumni Gym. 

Bates (6-12, 2-5 NESCAC) had a tough time stopping Melissa Baptista. She recorded a double-double with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds. Michela North also recorded a double-double for the Jumbos (17-2, 7-0 NESCAC) finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Nina Davenport '18 (Freeport, Maine) put up a team-high 19 points while knocking down a game-high four threes. Lyse Henshaw '18 (Brunswick, Maine) added 10 points and Allie Coppola '17 (Tarrytown, N.Y.) pulled down 12 rebounds while chipping in six points.

Turnovers hurt the Bobcats in the contest. They turned the ball over 16 times. Meanwhile Tufts only turned it over six times. The Jumbos scored 17 points off turnovers to the Bobcats' five. 

A Davenport three gave Bates their only lead of the game in the first quarter, a 3-2 edge. Tufts kept the Bobcats at arm's length for the remainder of the half. 

With the game tied at 11, Baptista hit a three to put Tufts up 14-11 with 3:37 to go in the first quarter of action. The game wouldn't be tied again until the Bobcats' big third quarter.

Trailing 45-37 with under seven minutes remaining in the third, Bates got a bucket from Bernadette Connors '17 (Windham, N.H.) to cut the deficit to six. Henshaw followed with a basket of her own and Bates pulled to within four. Tufts responded with a field goal but Chelsea Nason '16 (Boxford, Mass.) hit a huge three to cut the Jumbos' lead to 47-44 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.

A Connors layup cut the deficit to one and Davenport split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 47 at the end of the third.

Bates trailed by just two points after a Nason free throw with 7:28 remaining in the game. But that's when the Jumbos went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach. Davenport hit a three to cut the deficit to 10 with 3:23 to go. That's as close as Bates got the rest of the way.

The Bobcats head to Amherst this Friday. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.