Women’s basketball falls to Bates 59-49

Lauren Vostal ’19 grabbed five rebounds against Bates on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Sports Infromation.
Lauren Vostal ’19 grabbed five rebounds against Bates on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Sports Infromation.

Women’s basketball (17-7, 5-5 in the NESCAC) suffered a loss of 59-49 in its final game of the regular season against Bates on Sunday after falling to Tufts 62-37 on Friday. Lauren McCall ’17 led Williams in the game against Bates and scored 15 points total, including a trio of three pointers. The game wrapped up NESCAC play for both teams as well as for the entire conference and solidified their spots in the standings – sixth for Williams and seventh for Bates – heading into the NESCAC tournament.

Bates capitalized on five of its first seven shot attempts, which allowed them to jump out to an early lead by the end of the first quarter. Nina Davenport hit three pointers on back-to-back possessions to turn a 7-5 deficit into an 11-7 lead – a lead that held throughout the rest of the game.

The women, playing without co-captain Katie Litman ’16 for the second straight game, struggled to establish a rhythm in the half court offense despite a boost from Kristin Fechtelkotter ’18, who made her first start of the season. She backed up defense with an efficient 14 points on 7-9 shooting from the floor while playing a team-high 37 minutes in the game.

In the beginning of the second quarter, Bates went on a 7-0 run off a 15-11 lead that forced Head Coach Pat Manning to take a full timeout. The Bobcat defense proved to be a formidable force against an Eph offense that committed 11 turnovers and shot only 28 percent from the field in the first half. McCall helped keep the Ephs in the game, scoring five of the Ephs’ nine points in the quarter. Amanni Fernandez ’18 and Devon Caveney ’17, the team’s two leading scorers, combined to go only 1-13 from the field in the first half and just 4-32 for the whole game. Lauren Vostal ’19 helped the team on the defensive end by snatching two steals.

The Ephs entered the third quarter down 31-20 and only gained one point on the Bobcats during it. The women stayed in the game with their defense, which held Bates to just nine points in the third quarter while causing four turnovers.

The Ephs continued to execute on defense throughout the fourth quarter, but the team’s lack of offensive firepower hindered the team’s ability to get back in the game. Caveney made her first three-point attempt of the game and brought Williams within eight points with eight minutes left.

For the remainder of the game, both teams traded points until Bates drilled another three to push the lead back to double digits and the game out of reach.

On Friday, the women played No. 7 Tufts for Tufts’ senior night, again without Litman. Fernandez led the Ephs and scored 11 points despite fouling early. Williams prioritized defense, which worked early on, but ultimately Tufts used Williams turnovers and offensive rebounds to kick start its offense and win the game.

The score after the first quarter was 10-9 in favor of the Jumbos, reflecting the stellar defensive efforts from both sides. The Jumbos quickly changed that trend in the second quarter, using Eph turnovers and offensive rebounds to kickstart their offense. Fernandez did her best to keep her team competitive, scoring a team high six points in the first half before being brought to the bench with three fouls.

The women added 14 points to their total in the final quarter but, by that time, it was too late as Tufts stretched their lead to as much as 30 during the last ten minutes.

Co-captain Oge Uwanaka ’16, who repeatedly flashed her athleticism throughout the game, continued to do so even while her team was down big, ultimately finishing with six points and ten rebounds. The final minutes inevitably ticked off the clock, securing the fate of the Ephs.

“It wasn’t the weekend we hoped for . We are going to regroup with a full week of practice and get ready for our postseason games next weekend,” said Head Coach Pat Manning.

In two games without Litman, the Ephs have averaged 43 points, over 20 points below their season average. The team hopes to get Litman back for their NESCAC quarterfinal matchup on Saturday as the sixth seed in the conference, traveling to play the third seeded Bowdoin.

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