No. 5 Jumbos stifle women's basketball at Tufts

Nina Davenport led Bates with 15 points and five rebounds in an 83-37 loss at No. 5 Tufts on Jan. 24, 2015. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College) 

MEDFORD, Mass. -- No. 5 nationally ranked Tufts outscored visiting the Bates women's basketball team 51-16 in the second half and posted an 83-37 win over the Bobcats in NESCAC action Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.

After leading 32-21 at the half, Tufts shot 62.1 percent (18/29) in the second half while holding Bates to 19.2 percent (5/26). The Jumbos, led by 19 points from sophomore Michela North, improved to 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the league. The win was Tufts' 18th in a row against a NESCAC opponent.

Bates, led by 15 points from first-year Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine), dropped to 9-8 and 0-4 in the conference. The loss was the Bobcats' fourth straight.

Tufts built an early 14-3 lead as North, Kanner and first-year Melissa Baptista combined on the points. Bates hung in there and twice narrowed the margin to seven, including 22-15 on a jumper by sophomore Allie Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) near the six-minute mark.

The Jumbos stretched the margin to 32-21 at intermission. North with 11 points and Baptista with nine led Tufts at the half. Davenport scored more than half of Bates' points in the opening 20 minutes, with 11.

Davenport's jumper at 18:26 of the second half had Bates within 12 at 35-23. However, the Jumbos went on a 19-2 run over the next five minutes to lead 54-25 with 13 minutes remaining in regulation. North and Kanner both had six points during the stretch.

Tufts' lead didn't go below 27 points from there. The Jumbos held Bates to just six points in the final 10 minutes and are now allowing just 40.5 points per game to league oponents.

The Jumbos finished the game with a 53-21 advantage in rebounds, though no player had more than seven. Hannah Foley had the seven, while North, Kanner and sophomore guard Josie Lee all had six. Davenport and Coppola, who entered the game with a conference-best 11.7 rebounds per game average, shared Bates' lead on the glass with five apiece, tying for Coppola's season low.

Kanner and Baptista both scored 15 points in the game as Tufts shot 53.3 percent (32/60) overall. Maura Folliard pitched in eight points off the bench. Lauren Dillon recorded six assists and Baptisa had three of Tufts' nine blocks.

The 37 points allowed by Tufts tied for the third-lowest of the year, and is the lowest total scored by Bates this season.

Bates has mid-week non-conference action at St. Joseph's College of Maine on Wednesday at 7pm.