STANDISH, Maine -- Emily Benway scored 24 points with 12 rebounds and Kelsi McNamara added 20 points and 12 assists, leading the host and No. 12 nationally ranked St. Joseph's College of Maine past the Bates women's basketball team on Saturday.
The visiting Bobcats (3-1) took their first loss of the season, despite a 22-point effort by first-year guard Mia Roy (Bedford, N.H.). Roy made 8-of-14 shots from the field, and 3-for-8 from three-point territory.
The host Monks rose to 6-0, shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 90% at the free-throw line.
Roy led four Bobcats in double figures. Senior Erika Lamere (Weston, Mass.) added 12 points off the bench, her second career double-digit scoring game, hitting 2-of-3 from 3-point land and adding four rebounds. Junior Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) contributed 11 points and first-year Amaari Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 10 points with five rebounds from off the bench. First-year Meghan Graff (South Portland, Maine) passed out six assists, the most by a Bobcat this season.
Bates shot a respectable 40 percent both from the field and from deep, and made 75% of its 28 free-throw attempts.
St. Joe's never trailed in the game. The Monks methodically built a six-point lead at the end of one period (20-14), which ballooned to double digits in the first minute of the second quarter as Benway made a pair of layups. Jordan Jabar's 3-pointer and layup made it 30-14 in the hosts' favor, and Benway's putback of her own miss completed a 17-0 Monks run spanning the last minute of the first quarter and the first four minutes of the second,, for a 32-14 advantage. Bates hung in enough over the rest of the half to reduce the lead by two points, at 44-28.
The Monks quickly broadened the lead with a three by Hannah Marks and a layup by McNamara in the first 65 seconds of the second half.
But Roy answered with a three, followed by a jumper made by sophomore Taylor McVeigh (Hanson, Mass.). A three by Binkhorst and a Roy layup made clear that the Bobcats still intended to make it a game, as they played the Monks nearly evenly in the third quarter, at 21-20 in the hosts' favor.
Unfortunately for Bates, Roy's free throw at 6:03 left in the third was the closest the Bobcats could get the rest of the way, at a 53-41 deficit. The Bobcats came within 13 two times in the fourth quarter, on a three and a pair of free throws by Lamere, before the Monks tacked nine points to their lead over the final 6:23.
Bates will next play a non-conference game at Colby on Tuesday at 7pm.