On Sunday, women’s basketball (15-9, 4-6 in the NESCAC) finished their regular season with an energetic 91-65 win over Bates on Senior Day. Kristen Fechtelkotter ’18 and Emily Chang ’20 had impressive performances with 14 and eight points respectively, but co-captains Devon Caveney ’17 and Lauren McCall ’17 carried the team with strong play in all phases of the game.
Williams honored Caveney and McCall prior to tip-off. Both captains contributed immensely to the program over their four years. Last week at Wesleyan, Caveney earned the added honor of becoming the 17th woman in program history to join the 1000-point club. In their final home game, they both knocked down four three-pointers. Caveney scored 24 points overall to lead the team, and McCall was close behind with 20.
Head Coach Pat Manning praised the seniors.
“This was all about Lauren and Devon,” she said. “We wanted to give them a Senior Day to remember, and I give them tremendous credit for leading us today; they were amazing.
“Lauren and Devon have given so much to the program over their four years. I’ve loved coaching them, and I wanted to see them go out with a bang.”
The Ephs used the extra energy from Senior Day to start the game with passion and intensity and jumped out to a 10-4 lead. Caveney supplied half of those points, including a hard-earned triple that brought the players on the bench to their feet. The women also started the game well defensively, with Caveney and Fechtelkotter recording two big blocks.
Bates free throws narrowed the gap to two, before Amanni Fernandez ’18 reeled in an offensive rebound and converted the putback. McCall backed up that basket with a three-pointer from the top of the key that forced Bates into a timeout with 4:20 to play in the first quarter.
The Ephs kept momentum on their side following the timeout, finishing the quarter up 25-14. They also showed impressive discipline, committing no turnovers while forcing the Bobcats into five.
The women sustained their double-digit lead throughout the second quarter, taking a 44-32 advantage into halftime. Caveney and McCall both finished the half with 12 points. The Ephs managed to hold Bobcats Nina Davenport and Allie Coppola, who stand at first and fourth in the NESCAC for points per game, respectively, to just seven points combined in the first half.
Williams extended their lead to 18 over the first four minutes of the third quarter before Davenport hit a three to make the score 53-38. Chang responded with a three of her own, and the lead was stretched to 20 when Fechtelkotter snuck through the Bobcat defense for a layup with 3:43 to play.
The last ten minutes told the same story as the first thirty, with the Ephs in full control on both ends of the floor. They finished with a 91-65 victory and put up great numbers in key statistical categories. The women finished the game with only six turnovers after averaging 18.9 this season and scored 20 points off of Bates’ turnovers. The Ephs also made 11 three pointers, significantly exceeding their 5.2 average.
“Our Senior Day game on Sunday against Bates was the best game we have played as a team all year,” Caveney said. “We had so much energy entering the game because it was our last game [at] Chandler and also because it was Senior Day. I know Lauren and I could not have asked for a better game for our last time playing at Chandler, and we cannot thank our teammates enough for making the day incredibly special.”
The win was particularly significant because the women suffered a difficult 61-27 loss to No. 3 Tufts on Friday.
Caveney again led the women with six points, but the Ephs offense could not find a rhythm against a stout Jumbo defense. By the end of the first half, they were down 36-11. Both teams struggled to make baskets in the third quarter. The Ephs defense held the Jumbos to only eight points in the quarter but still lost ground and trailed by 27 heading into the fourth.
Tufts continued to build their lead throughout the fourth quarter despite the fact that the final quarter was the Ephs’ best period offensively. Tufts outscored Williams 17-10 over the last 10 minutes to round out their 34-point victory.
The No. 7 Ephs will look to avenge their Friday loss to the Jumbos at 4 p.m. this Saturday when the women visit No. 2 Tufts in the first round of the NESCAC tournament.