Defense carries Bates women's basketball to 60-44 road win over Hamilton

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CLINTON, N.Y. -- Senior co-captain Allie Coppola returned to her home state and tallied half as many points as the entire Hamilton team in a 60-44 road win for the Bates women's basketball team Friday night. 

Coppola (Tarrytown, N.Y.) recorded her third consecutive double-double on her way to a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats (5-9, 2-1 NESCAC). 

Bates held Hamilton (7-6, 1-2 NESCAC) to 17-59 (28.8%) shooting from the floor and 1-13 from three. Halie Serbent was the only Continental to finish in double figures, tallying 10 points on 5-10 shooting. The 44 points surrendered by Bates is the fewest they've allowed in one game since only giving up 41 points to Hamilton last season, a 52-41 Bobcat victory. 

Senior co-captain Bernadette Connors (Windham, N.H.) supported Coppola with 12 points, eight rebounds and a game-high four assists. Junior Lyse Henshaw (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in 10 points for Bates.

The Bobcats used a big first quarter to grab an early lead and they were able to bookend the performance with a strong fourth quarter performance as well.

Coppola got the game started with a layup, and after Hamilton responded with a layup of their own, junior Nina Davenport (Freeport, Maine) and Henshaw hit back-to-back threes to give Bates the lead for good at 8-2.

A Serbent layup cut the lead to 10-7 with 5:22 left in the first quarter but first-year Carly Christofi (Fairlawn, N.J) drilled a three in response to extend the advantage to 13-7. 

With 3:44 left in the first quarter, Coppola hit the third three-pointer of her career to extend the advantage to 19-9.

The Bobcats led 23-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the teams essentially trade baskets for the entire 10 minutes. A Connors layup with 12 seconds to go in the quarter gave Bates 13-11 edge in the quarter and a 36-24 lead at the half.

Hamilton made their move in the third quarter. The Continentals cut the Bobcat lead down to single digits by outscoring Bates 14-7. An 8-0 run culminated in a Kate Bushell layup with 4:14 to go, trimming the Bobcats' advantage to 39-34.

But Coppola had the answer with a layup of her own and the teams traded baskets from there on out. The Bobcats took a slim 43-38 lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to Bates, although a Mackenzie Aldridge layup with 5:35 to go made the score 47-44, the Bobcats ended the game on a 13-0 run.

The run started with Connors making a pair of free throws. Then after a Hamilton turnover, Davenport made a layup to extend the lead to 51-44, causing the Continentals to call timeout with 3:34 to go in the game.

With 2:28 left, Henshaw knocked down a three to put Bates up by 10. Coppola and Henshaw combined to sink six free throws down the stretch to put away Hamilton. The Continentals scored just six points on 3-13 shooting in the fourth quarter.

The Bobcats look to continue their winning ways Saturday when they visit Middlebury. Tip is set for 3:00 p.m.