Defense carries women's basketball to 60-44 road win over Hamilton

Senior co-captain Allie Coppola scored a game-high 22 points in the Bobcats' 60-44 win over Hamilton on Friday, January 13, 2017. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

CLINTON, N.Y. -- Senior co-captain Allie Coppola returned to her home state and tallied half as many points as the entire Hamilton team in a 60-44 road win for the Bates women's basketball team Friday night. 

Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) recorded her third consecutive double-double on her way to a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats (5-9, 2-1 NESCAC). 

Bates held Hamilton (7-6, 1-2 NESCAC) to 17-59 (28.8%) shooting from the floor and 1-13 from three. Halie Serbent was the only Continental to finish in double figures, tallying 10 points on 5-10 shooting. The 44 points surrendered by Bates is the fewest they've allowed in one game since only giving up 41 points to Hamilton last season, a 52-41 Bobcat victory. 

Senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) supported Coppola with 12 points, eight rebounds and a game-high four assists. Junior Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in 10 points for Bates.

The Bobcats used a big first quarter to grab an early lead and they were able to bookend the performance with a strong fourth quarter performance as well. Bates did not turn the ball over in the first half and converted 22 points off turnovers in the contest. 

Coppola got the game started with a layup, and after Hamilton responded with a layup of their own, junior Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) and Henshaw hit back-to-back threes to give Bates the lead for good at 8-2.

A Serbent layup cut the lead to 10-7 with 5:22 left in the first quarter but first-year Carly Christofi (Fairlawn, N.J) drilled a three in response to extend the advantage to 13-7. 

With 3:44 left in the first quarter, Coppola hit the third three-pointer of her career to extend the advantage to 19-9.

The Bobcats led 23-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the teams essentially trade baskets for the entire 10 minutes. A Connors layup with 12 seconds to go in the quarter gave Bates 13-11 edge in the quarter and a 36-24 lead at the half.

Hamilton made their move in the third quarter. The Continentals cut the Bobcat lead down to single digits by outscoring Bates 14-7. An 8-0 run culminated in a Kate Bushell layup with 4:14 to go, trimming the Bobcats' advantage to 39-34.

But Coppola had the answer with a layup of her own and the teams traded baskets from there on out. The Bobcats took a slim 43-38 lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to Bates, although a Mackenzie Aldridge layup with 5:35 to go made the score 47-44, the Bobcats ended the game on a 13-0 run.

The run started with Connors making a pair of free throws. Then after a Hamilton turnover, Davenport made a layup to extend the lead to 51-44, causing the Continentals to call timeout with 3:34 to go in the game.

With 2:28 left, Henshaw knocked down a three to put Bates up by 10. Coppola and Henshaw combined to sink six free throws down the stretch to put away Hamilton. The Continentals scored just six points on 3-13 shooting in the fourth quarter. Bates also shot 3 of 13 from the field in the fourth quarter but the Bobcats made all 10 of their free throw attempts in the fourth to secure the win.

The Bobcats look to continue their winning ways Saturday when they visit Middlebury. Tip is set for 3:00 p.m.