GORHAM, Maine -- Nina Davenport poured in 27 points and added eight rebounds and four steals to lead the Bates women's basketball team to a 68-56 victory at the University of Southern Maine Tuesday.
The Bobcats (1-2) picked up their first victory of the season while the Huskies (0-4) remained winless.
Davenport (Freeport, Maine) logged a full 40 minutes on the floor for the third time in as many games. She made 9-of-16 shots from the field, and tied a career high by making six 3-pointers on nine attempts. She is averaging 28.7 points per game through three games and is up to 968 points in her career.
Sophomore Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) added career highs of 12 points and six rebounds for the Bobcats, while first-year Julia Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.) pitched in with a big effort off the bench, totaling nine points, six rebounds and five steals.
Kristen Curley led USM with 20 points from off the bench, while Emily Nicholson added 15 points and five assists.
Bates fell behind 12-5 halfway through the first quarter but finished the period with 10 unanswered points, including a pair of 3-pointers by Davenport and buckets by Binkhorst and Middlebrook.
USM made three 3-pointers in the second quarter, one each by Mychaela Harton, Curley and Nicholson, to pull into a 23-23 tie. But a three by Bates senior Emily Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) and a steal and free throw by first-year Taylor McVeigh (Hanson, Mass.) put Bates up 27-23. Bates headed into halftime with a 29-27 lead.
Binkhorst opened the second half with back-to-back hoops for a six-point cushion, but a three by Nicholson began a 10-2 Husky run, capped by consecutive hoops by Curley, as the hosts assumed a 37-35 lead. With 4:18 to go, a Middlebrook layup put Bates ahead 40-39. She was fouled on the play and missed the free throw, but Bates kept the ball with a pair of offensive rebounds, and the possession ended with a Davenport three. Davenport drained another triple on Bates' next possession for a 46-39 edge that became a 49-40 lead after three quarters.
USM closed the gap to 49-44 with the first two baskets of the fourth quarter, but Bates responded with a 7-0 run, including a Davenport three and baskets by Middlebrook and Binkhorst, prompting a USM timeout with Bates' lead at 55-44.
USM closed the gap down to three with a 12-4 run, making it 59-56 when Curley made a three with 2:41 to go, prompting a Bates timeout.
McVeigh, senior Lexie Nason (Boxford, Mass.), Binkhorst and Davenport combined to make eight straight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Bates next plays a non-league game at WPI on Saturday at 2pm.