Bobcats survive overtime battle with Nor'easters

More news about: University of New England
LEWISTON, Maine -- Allie Beaulieu hit the go-ahead jumper in the paint with 40 seconds left in overtime to provide Bates College with enough for a 59-58 win over the University of New England in non-conference women's basketball action Tuesday evening (Dec. 4) at Alumni Gymnasium.

Scoring was limited in the extra period, as UNE recorded the initial three points on free throws to assume a 57-54 edge with 2:36 left. Less than a minute later, Chelsea Nason drained a three-pointer from the right wing for Bates to tie things (57-57).

After the Nor'easters came up empty on a possession that included three offensive rebounds, Beaulieu's bucket gave the hosts a two-point cushion. Following a turnover by UNE, and a missed free throw on the front-end of a one-and-one, Big Blue managed to get one point back from the charity stripe to make it 59-58 with five ticks remaining.

The Bobcats were again off on a free throw try at the other end, but UNE could not get a shot away before the final buzzer sounded.

The Nor'easters trailed by eight (41-33) with under 10 minutes left in the second half before starting to rally. A 16-6 UNE run in a five minute span turned the deficit into the lead (49-47) -- capped by a three-point play from first-year Meghan Gribbin (Windham, Maine).

Scoring occurred on the ensuing three possessions to level the contest at 51-51, prior to nearly two minutes without any points. UNE first-year Sadie DiPierro (South Portland, Maine) broke the deadlock with 1:12 to go with a shot from long distance (54-51).

Bates got one point closer on its next trip down, and, after a miss by its opponent, set-up Taryn O'Connell for the tying lay-up with 17 seconds on the clock. UNE's chance the end the game in regulation came up short.

The Bobcats (3-5) were led by Beaulieu and O'Connell with 20 points and four rebounds apiece, and each knocked down four treys on the night. As a team, Bates attempted and made half (11-for-30) on its total shots (22 of 60) from beyond the arc.

Nason finished with 12 points and 10 boards to support the hosts, and Julia Rafferty totaled four points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

Big Blue (4-2) received 13 points and 12 caroms from senior Beth Suggs (Bath, Maine). DiPierro and fellow rookie Lauren Hayden (Chantilly, Va.) ended with nine points, while Hayden also grabbed six rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Kelly Coleman (Portland, Conn.) tallied eight points and 10 rebounds in the match for UNE, which owned a 51-41 advantage on the glass.

Bates sat on top for the entirety of the first half, going up by as many as eight (16-8) along the way. Though the ball only went through the net twice for either side in the closing five minutes of the frame, the last time was DiPierro for the Nor'easters to trim the Bobcats' lead to four (25-21) at the break.

Neither offense was overly effective in the opening period, as the squads combined to convert less than a quarter of the shots put up in the first 20 minutes.

The Bobcats continued to control the scoreboard past the midway mark of the second stanza -- by between four and eight points -- until UNE mounted it's comeback down the stretch. Gribbin's hoop with 4:41 to go in regulation was the Nor'easters' first lead of the contest.

Big Blue returns to action Thursday (7 p.m.) for a home date with Colby College.