FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WOMEN'S HOOPS GARNERS FOURTH SEED IN ECAC TOURNEY
LEWISTON, Maine - The Bates College women's basketball team (18-8) have earned the fourth seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England tournament. The Bobcats will host fifth-seeded Colby College (19 7) in the opening round on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Admission for the contest will be free and the game will be broadcast live on WRBC-91.5 FM.
The Bobcats and White Mules tied for second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this season, each finishing with a 7-2 mark in league play. Both were eliminated in the semifinals of the conference tournament last weekend as Bates fell to top seed Amherst, 57-53, while Colby dropped a 73-61 decision to eventual NESCAC champion Bowdoin.
In two previous meetings with Colby this season, Bates emerged victorious in overtime. On Feb. 3, the Bobcats needed two overtimes to defeat the White Mules, 84-80. Bates trailed by 10 points with five minutes to go in regulation, but a 25-11 advantage at the free throw line in the second half gave them the win. First-year forward Lauren Dubois of Beverly, Mass., recorded her first career double-double in the contest with a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.
On Jan. 11 in Alumni Gymnasium, the Bobcats took a 74-73 decision in front of their largest home crowd of the season behind a career-high 26 points from senior forward Kate McLaughlin of Laconia, N.H. McLaughlin scored 10 of Bates' final 12 points, including six in overtime after Colby sophomore Bianca Belcher, a Lewiston native, went coast-to-coast to force the extra session.
Bates has won seven straight games at home, seven of their last eight overall and nine in a row over Colby dating to the 1997-98 season. The Bobcats are making their fifth straight postseason appearance, but their first in the ECAC tourney since 1989 after four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. McLaughlin is their leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 15.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season. Sophomore Carla Flaherty of Gorham, Maine, (10.6 ppg) and junior Kate Dockery of New York, N.Y., (10.5 ppg) also average in double figures for the Bobcats.
In other ECAC tournament first-round action on Wednesday night, top seed Amherst (22-4) hosts No. 8 Framingham State (18-7); No. 2 Wellesley (20-4) plays host to No. 7 MIT (18-7); and third seed Plymouth State (19-7) takes on No. 6 Colby-Sawyer (20-6).
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