Bates 76            Tufts 66

At Medford
Saturday, February 5, 2005

Game Statistics

MEDFORD Senior guard Heather Taylor (Nobleboro, ME) scored 18 points to lead four Bates College players who finished in double-figures as the Bobcats won their 20th game of the season, 76-66, at Tufts in NESCAC play on Saturday afternoon.

Bates, ranked fourth in the national poll this week, won its eighth straight game and improved to 20-1 overall. The Bobcats are now 6-1 in NESCAC. The loss ended a three-game winning streak by Tufts (11-9, 1-6 NESCAC), which was led by 15 points from junior guard Jessica Powers (Massapequa, NY).

Outside of the first eight minutes, this was a tight game. The visiting Bobcats flew out to leads of 7-0, 17-1 and 22-5 on a lay-up by Olivia Zurek (Arlington, MA), who finished with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Tufts was able to overcome its slow start and cut the margin down to six points, 33-27, on a three-pointer by junior guard Julia Verplank (Zeeland, MI) at 3:55. Bates closed the half strong and led 44-31 at the break. Taylor and freshman Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, NH) scored nine points in the first half for Bates, and Powers led the Jumbos with 10.

Bates opened the second half with a 10-2 run that gave them a 21-point lead (54-33) on a jumper by Taylor at the 16-minute mark. Tufts was able to work its way back into the game again, closing to within six points, 57-51, on a jumper by junior Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ) at 9:48. That capped an 18-3 surge by Tufts. Krah had five points during the stretch for Tufts. However, Bates scored the next five points and was able to keep the Jumbos at a distance for the rest of the way.

The 10-point final margin was the closest game against Bates during their current winning streak. The Jumbos out-scored the Bobcats 35-32 in the second half and 61-54 after falling behind by 17 early in the game. At 1-6 in NESCAC, Tufts is fighting for one of the eight spots in the upcoming conference tournament, but could be a tough team to face in the first round. Krah tallied 14 points to go with seven rebounds, while Verplank had her usual all-around game with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Bates beat Tufts on the boards solidly, 46-34. Barton finished with a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with 10 points and four assists. The Bobcats finished at 47.7 percent shooting for the game (31/65) including Taylor's perfect 8 for 8 outing.