LEWISTON, Maine – The Wesleyan University women's basketball team never trailed Friday night and held off a late scare by Bates College as the Cardinals came away with a 47-46 NESCAC win on the road. The Bobcats inbounded by the ball with just 13 seconds on the clock but a stifling Wesleyan defense forced a desperation shot as time expired.
Tara Berger '19 led the Cardinals with 11 points and nine rebounds as they improved to 13-5 overall and 3-3 in the conference. Bates, who drops to 7-13 on the season and 1-5 in league play, was led by Nina Davenport's game-high 14 points.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. After more than four minutes of scoreless play, the Cardinals were the first to get on the board as Maddie Bledsoe '18 hit a pair of free throws at the 5:42 mark.
- Minutes later, Berger converted a three-point play to give Wesleyan a 9-5 lead after one.
- Wesleyan went on a 6-0 run in the opening minutes of the second quarter as a jumper by Berger put the visitors ahead 17-9 at the 5:52 mark.
- The Cardinals led by as much as nine, twice, but Bates scored five unanswered including a buzzer-beater three from Lyse Henshaw to cut the deficit to four at halftime, 25-21.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Bobcats got within one following a three-pointer from Emily Freedland at the 8:45 mark, and kept it close for much of the quarter, but Wesleyan held the home team scoreless the final 2:51 of the quarter while going on a 7-0 run to claim a 42-31 lead entering the fourth.
- The momentum remained in the Cardinals' favor early in the fourth quarter as a free throw by Bledsoe kept it an 11-point game, up 47-36 with 6:17 remaining.
- However, Wesleyan was held scoreless the rest of the way as Bates slowly cut into the deficit and a layup by Carly Christofi with 1:31 to play got the home team within one.
- The Bobcats had an opportunity to win the game when they took over with 13 seconds on the clock, but Maeve Vitale '19 tipped a Bates' pass into the backcourt and a last-second heave by Davenport missed the basket.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Berger scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting. She was joined in double-figures by Heidi Scarth '20 who dropped 10 off the bench. Olivia Gorman '19 scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Bledsoe led the Cardinals with 10 boards. Ava Tompkins '20 dished out a game-high four assists and pulled in 10 rebounds.
- Davenport was joined in double-figures by Julia Middlebrook with 10 points off the bench. Lexie Nason grabbed a game-high 15 boards and Davenport led all Bobcats with three assists.
- Wesleyan held a commanding 54-39 edge in rebounding and outscored Bates 32-18 in the paint.
- The Cardinals return to the court tomorrow, Jan. 27 and will play at Tufts beginning at 3 p.m.