Wesleyan tips Bates in women’s hoops, 75-74
LEWISTON, Maine — Ali Fourney found Meredith Lowe underneath for a 2-foot jumper with 4 seconds remaining to lift the Wesleyan University women’s basketball team to a 75-74 victory over Bates College in a NESCAC contest Saturday at Alumni Gymnasium.
Lucy Sprung led the visiting Cardinals (10-8, 2-4 NESCAC) with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting to go with 7 rebounds. Ali Fourney added 17 points with 7 assists and 5 steals, Sam LaCroce added 10 points, and Lowe contributed 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Senior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) led the Bobcats (15-6, 4-2 NESCAC) with 26 points, while junior Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) added 15 points and sophomore Jessie Igoe (Lexington, Mass.) chipped in with 12. First-year guard Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) collected team highs of 9 assists and 9 rebounds.
There were 13 ties, including eight in the final 10:41, and 16 lead changes in the game.
Beckwith broke a 73-73 tie by hitting one of two free throws with 17 seconds remaining. The senior, playing in her final regular-season home game, entered the game shooting .776 at the line, but made just 7 of 14 shots from the charity stripe in the game.
After a Wesleyan timeout, Fourney drove around the top of the key to the right wing and dumped the ball inside to Lowe, who was open for the short jumper. Bates had no timeouts left and was unable to get a shot off in the remaining 4 seconds of the game.
Wesleyan took its last lead prior to the game-winning shot at 63-61 with 6:26 left on a jumper by Fourney, Igoe tied the game with a jumper and pushed Bates ahead with a pair of free throws, making it 67-65 with 4:52 left.
Fourney answered with a layup on an assist by Erin Gold, but the Bobcats came back with a layup by Burns on a feed by first-year Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine; 9 points). Sprung retied the game at 67 with a pair of free throws, but Beckwith bumped Bates back into the lead with two foul shots of her own. Beckwith then missed the front end of a one and one on Bates’ next trip down, following a missed three by Gold, and Lowe hit a putback layup following a missed layup by Fourney to tie the game again at 69-69.
Bates again retook the lead when Burns found Beckwith for a layup, but Sprung followed a missed three by Fourney with another putback to make it 71-71 with 1:53 left. The Cardinals outrebounded the Bobcats 40-28 and held advantages of 44-32 on points in the paint and 13-6 on second-chance points.
Wesleyan took a 35-33 lead into halftime, taking advantage of a 25-13 edge on the boards, as well as 14 points by Sprung and all 10 of LaCroce’s points in the game. Beckwith led the Bobcats with 11 points in the half, but was an uncharacteristic 0-7 on two-point field goals and 3-3 on threes. Wesleyan led by as many as 8, at 33-25 with 3:26 left in the period, but Beckwith hit two free throws and two straight threes to tie the game at 33 before Sprung hit a final layup before the end of the period.
Bates took control of the game early in the second half, opening the period with a 16-6 run in the first 5:42, capped by a Flaherty three and including six points by Yanofsky. Wesleyan chipped away, however, and tied the game at 57 on a layup by Eileen Gaffney, then seized a three-point lead with a trifecta by Gold with 8:12 left.
Beckwith’s 26 points moved her past Sarah Bonkovsky ’97 and into third place on Bates’ all-time scoring list, now with 1,408 points. Her four rebounds put her over the 500-rebound career mark, now with 501, where she is 20th on Bates’ all-time list.
Bates returns to action next weekend with a road trip to Amherst (Friday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.) and Trinity (Saturday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m.).