Women's basketball falls to Mount Holyoke in opener, 77-63

CASTINE, Maine – Senior Meredith Kelly led all scorers with 26 points, but Bates College women's basketball fell to Mount Holyoke College, 77-63, at the Mariner Pepsi Challenge hosted by Maine Maritime Academy in Smith Gymnasium on Friday night.

The Bobcats (0-1) held a 57-56 lead with 7:48 to play before the Lyons (1-0) closed the game with a 21-6 run.

Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.), a co-captain, shot 10 of 24 from the floor and tied for the team high with nine rebounds. First-year Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) recorded 12 points and nine rebounds while sophomore Chelsea Nason (Boxford, Mass.) added eight points and eight rebounds.

All five starters scored in double figures for Mount Holyoke with Kate Karraker netting a team-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Amber Legare (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Nicole DeMarchena (10 points, 12 rebounds) each notched double-doubles for the Lyons while Jennine Vizcaino registered 16 points and Genelle Green had 10.

Bates took an early 18-14 advantage in the game after 3-pointers from Nason and junior Allaina Murphy (Poland Spring, Maine) just prior to a Kelly layup. Mount Holyoke responded with 11 consecutive points to grab a 25-18 edge with 9:05 left in the first half.

The Lyons built their lead to 37-24, but the Bobcats hit a trio of shots from beyond the arc coming from junior Kristin Calvo (South Deerfield, Mass.), Nason, and Murphy, for the last nine points of the opening half to trim their deficit to 37-33 at the break.

The Bobcats remained within two possessions of the Lyons for the better part of the second half's first 15 minutes until Mount Holyoke used a 9-0 spurt to capture a 65-57 edge with 5:05 to play.

In the game, Mount Holyoke outscored Bates 36-22 in the paint and shot 51.9 percent from the floor compared to 28.2 percent for the Bobcats.

Bates will play Simmons tomorrow in the tournament's consolation game at 1 p.m. Mount Holyoke will square off with Maine Maritime in the championship game at 3 p.m.