No. 17 Bates women to meet No. 8 Brandeis in Tip-Off Tournament finals
Senior center Annie Whiting put up 16 points with seven rebounds for Bates in the win over Mt. Holyoke.
WALTHAM, Mass. – Two nationally-ranked women’s basketball teams will meet tomorrow in the title game of the Brandeis University Tip-Off Tournament, as the host Judges (No. 8 d3hoops.com, No 12 ESPN/WBCA) and the Bates College Bobcats (No. 17 d3hoops.com, No. 10 ESPN/WBCA) easily handled their opening-round opponents. Brandeis defeated Salve Regina, 69-53, while Bates down Mount Holyoke, 79-65.
In the nightcap, Mount Holyoke senior Jonee Billy (New York, N.Y.) scored the game’s first bucket, but the Bobcats answered with 10 of the next 12 points and never looked back. Bates outscored the Lyons, 22-8, over the final 9:48 of the half to take a commanding 45-25 lead.
The Bobcats were paced by rookie guard Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.), who hit eight-of-11 from the line en route to 14 points in the first, while MHC senior Christine Godin (Fitchburg, Mass.) had 10 in the first. The Lyons opened the second half in a flurry, scoring the first 11 points in just over two minutes, cutting the lead to nine at 45-36 after junior guard Angela Astuccio (Foxboro, Mass.) hit a trifecta and two foul shots. Bates pushed the lead back to 14 at the 14:59 on a steal and lay-up by senior Kyla Decato (Paris, Maine). Six unanswered points, including two hoops by Godin, got MHC within eight at the 13:30 mark. The Lyons went cold from there, however, missing five of their next seven shots and committing seven turnovers in a nine-minute span.
Beckwith finished with a game-high 20 points in her first collegiate contest, hitting six-of-eight from the floor in addition to her sharp shooting from the line. Senior Annie Whiting (Contoocook, N.H.) added 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Decato finished with 11 points and nine steals. Sophomore guard Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) also just missed a double-double with 10 assists and nine points. The Bobcats assisted on 21 of their 29 baskets.
Godin finished 18 points to lead MHC, while Billy had 17 points and the day’s big rebounding performance with 12 caroms. Astuccio had a fine all-around performance with 11 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and four steals.
Brandeis never trailed in the opener of the doubleheader, going on a 19-4 run midway through the first half to break open an early 8-8 tie. Six different Brandeis players contributed to the key run, opening with a put-back by junior center Caitlin Malcolm (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and ending with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by rookie Lauren Goyette (Dartmouth, Mass.). Brandeis led by 17 points at the break and were ahead by as much as 22 before the final 16-point margin.
The Judges put three players in double figures, paced by senior co-captain Christine Clancy (Yarmouth, Maine) with 14 and four boards. Sophomore Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.) added 13 points, while Malcolm finished with 12 and a game-high six rebounds, three on the offensive glass. Senior guard Amanda DeMartino (Toms River, N.J.) dished out a game-high seven assists.
Salve Regina guard Katie Horan (Webster, Mass.) led all scorers with 18 points on eight-of-15 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers, but no other Seahawk player had more than eight points.