|Bates College||Babson College|
BABSON PARK, Mass. — The Bates women’s basketball scored its second victory in as many days, and perhaps its most impressive win of the season, on Wednesday afternoon, handing host Babson a 69-63 non-conference defeat at Staake Gymnasium.
For the first time this season, five players scored in double figures for the Bobcats (4-6), led by sophomore Melanie Binkhorst’s career-high 17 points. Binkhorst led the Bobcats in shots attempted (17) for the first time, making seven; she also tied a career high with eight rebounds and added three steals and two assists.
Like Tuesday’s victory over Roanoke, which was also played at Babson, turnovers were a big factor that tilted in Bates’ favor, as the host Beavers (6-3) committed a season-high 24 to Bates’ 15, with Bates totaling 17 steals. Bates also made a season-best 13 3-pointers on a season-high 35 attempts, a .371 percentage, while Babson made 5-of-12 from long range (.417).
Payton Ouimette totaled 22 points and nine rebounds, leading Babson to a 47-36 rebounding advantage, but she was the only Beaver to score in double figures. Babson lost for only the second time in six games.
Nina Davenport and Emily Freedland scored 14 points apiece for Bates, with Davenport adding eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Freedland shot 4-of-7 shots from the field, all on 3-point attempts. Lyse Henshaw and Julia Middlebrook added 11 points apiece.
Neither squad led by more than five in a first half that featured five ties and 11 lead changes. After the teams played to a 29-29 draw at intermission, Bates outscored Babson 20-17 in both quarters of the second half.
Freedland knocked down a pair of three-pointers as part of a 12-4 run that pushed the Bates lead to 43-35 with 3:40 to go in the third quarter. She then launched a three from well behind the line with one second remaining in the third quarter, giving Bates the lead for good at 49-46 and breaking the eighth tie of the game. The hoop came after Henshaw snagged an offensive rebound and fed Freedland, constituting Bates’ 12th second-chance point of the period.
A pair of free throws by Babson’s Vanessa Onwe cut the lead to 49-48 early in the fourth, but Bates answered with an 11-4 run, kicked off by a 3-pointer by Middlebrook and including a pair of threes by Davenport, making it 60-52 with 5:32 left in the game. Then Binkhorst answered an Onwe layup with a jumper, and Middlebrook answered a layup by Ouimette with another three to make it 65-56 with 3:34 to go. The lead grew to a game-high 10 points on Henshaw’s two free throws with 29 seconds remaining.
Bates returns to action on Saturday Dec. 30 when the Bobcats host Husson University in a non-conference game starting at 3pm.