No. 6 Tufts uses big second quarter to top women's basketball 72-51

Junior Melanie Binkhorst scored a team-high 13 points on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at No. 6 nationally ranked Tufts. (Samuel Mironko '21 for Bates College)

MEDFORD, Mass. -- The Bates women's basketball team held the lead after one quarter but the No. 6 nationally ranked Tufts University Jumbos outscored the Bobcats 28-6 in the second quarter to grab the lead for good, defeating Bates 72-51 Saturday afternoon in NESCAC action. 

Junior Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) led the Bobcats (7-8, 1-3 NESCAC) on offense with 13 points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists. First-year Ariana Dalia (Brick, N.J.) also finished in double figures with 10 points.  First-year Mia Roy (Beford, N.H.) and senior captain Erika Lamere (Weston, Mass.) scored nine and eight points respectively. Sophomore Taylor McVeigh (Hanson, Mass.) grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Seven Bobcats scored in the contest. 

For the game, Tufts (16-1, 4-1 NESCAC) shot 27-57 (47.4%) and Bates was 18-55 (32.7%) from the floor. Both teams shot well from the foul line as the Jumbos were 12-16 and Bates was 9-12. The Jumbos pulled down 39 boards while the Bobcats recorded 32 rebounds. Each team moved the ball at a high rate as the Jumbos dished out 19 assists and Bates tallied 15. The Tufts defense forced 16 Bobcat turnovers. 

The action was back and forth out of the gate as both teams scored seven points within the first five minutes of play. Dalia got off to a hot start with a layup and a three-pointer to extend the Bobcat lead as high as three points. Bates led 10-7 with 4:30 left in the first. The Jumbos scored the next five points off free throws from Cailin Harrington, Molly Ryan, and an Erica DeCandido layup. Lamere connected on her second three of the first quarter to push the lead back up to three with 1:43 left. A pair of Janette Wadolowski free throws were the final points of the first quarter, as the Bobcats led 15-14. 

Early in the second quarter Bates and Tufts traded baskets in what was a back-and-forth affair with multiple lead changes. Binkhorst made a layup with 6:03 left in the second to tie the contest at 21. In the final 6:03 of the quarter, Tufts defense stepped up, holding the Bobcats scoreless and forcing six turnovers. The Tufts offense also got going during that stretch as the Jumbos scored 21 unanswered points. Jac Knapp started the run with a three-pointer and a jumper. DeCandido netted six points and dished out three assists in the second. Ryan and Wadolowski combined for nine points as Tufts took a 42-21 lead into the locker room. 

Out of the locker room, Tufts didn't lose a step as the Jumbos scored the first seven points of the third quarter, led by five points from Knapp and a Harrington layup. Dalia ended the Bobcat scoring drought with a three-pointer with 6:15 left in the third. Binkhorst scored four points over a two-minute stretch to get the Bobcats as close as 20 points from the lead. Harrington scored five of the Jumbos final nine points in the third as they took a 58-34 lead into the fourth quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, Bates outscored Tufts 17-14, led by five points from Binkhorst and a combined eight points from McVeigh and first-year Meghan Graff (South Portland, Maine).

Knapp netted a game-high 13 points with six made shots for Tufts. DeCandido and Harrington were also in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Ryan scored eight points and dished out a team-high four assists. Wadolowski and Sadie Otley combined for 15 points. Sophomore Emily Briggs grabbed seven rebounds. Nine Jumbos scored in the game.

Take away the second quarter and Bates outscored Tufts by one on the night.

The Bobcats return to action Monday when they host Colby-Sawyer at 7pm.