Sharpshooting Bates women beat Williams for tourney title
Senior Annie Whiting was named Williams Tournament MVP.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Bates received double-figure scoring from three players, including 17 from Tournament MVP Annie Whiting (Contoocook, N.H.), as it topped Williams in the championship game of the Williams Tournament, 78-64, on Sunday at Chandler Gymnasium.
The Bobcats (4-2) shot 59.3 percent (32 of 54) from the floor in the game, receiving 19 points from first-year Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) and 17 points and nine rebounds from junior forward Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.). Sophomore point guard Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) added nine assists, five points and six rebounds.
Williams junior Meghan Stetson notched a career-high 23 points in the loss for Williams, which fell to 5-2 and saw its five-game winning streak come to an end. Williams has not defeated Bates since the 1999 season.
“It was incredibly disappointing, and just very frustrating,” Ephs head coach Pat Manning said. “We didn’t stay composed, and our defense was horrendous. They’re a very talented team and they have a lot of weapons, but we let them do whatever they wanted to do.”
Bates shot a red-hot 60 percent (15 of 25) from the floor in the first half and had a nine-point lead at one point, but Williams fought back to tie the game at 26 as junior Meghan O’Malley scored two baskets off assists from Colleen Hession and Kaylan Tildsley.
Bates ball movement and transition game proved to be too much for the Ephs in the second half. The Bobcats finished the game with 22 assists on 32 field goals. Stetson kept Williams close in the first six-plus minutes of the half, nailing a three-pointer, scoring off a baseline drive and then dropping a three from the top of the key that left the Ephs down by four at 49-45 with 13:57 remaining.
But Bates answered with a jumper from Coffin, an offensive putback by Whiting and a drive to the hoop by junior Maggie Fitzgerald. The Bobcats then regained possession and came out of a timeout by setting up Fitzgerald for a three-pointer.
At one point, Bates made six consecutive shots, including three 3-pointers, and boosted its lead to 20 with just under nine minutes remaining. Beckwith was 8 of 12 from the floor in the contest, while Coffin was 7 of 8.
Stetson and O’Malley were all-tournament selection from Williams. Coffin was also selected to the team and Whiting was the MVP. Rachael Odugbela of Worcester State and Jennifer Caron of Simmons were also chosen for the team.
Bates plays at UMaine-Farmington Tuesday night at 7 p.m.