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Women’s Basketball Trounces Bates With Second Half Scoring Outburst

Meggie Corcoran

NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Connecticut College women's basketball team dominated the second half of play en route to downing Bates by a convincing 73-52 score on Saturday afternoon at the Charles B. Luce Field House.

Trailing 30-29 at the break following a tightly contested first half, the Camels went into cruise control during the third quarter with seniors Margaret Corcoran (Milton, Mass.) and Caroline Pangallo (Fairfield, Conn.) leading the charge. Junior Dana Muckstadt grabbed an offensive rebound and found Pangallo for a trifecta to make it 34-32 with eight minutes remaining, and on the team's next possession, Pangallo finished again by driving in for a layup on another chance that was started by Muckstadt corralling an offensive board. Corcoran closed out the quarter with back-to-back layups to give the Camels a 48-40 advantage through 30 minutes of action.

The wave of momentum continued into the fourth, as Connecticut College raced ahead by racking up 14 unanswered points in a span of 5:02. Corcoran found Pangallo for a layup to start the run, and junior Sami Ashton (Clinton, Conn.) drilled a trey before capping the hot streak with a jumper and a pair of free throws to make it 64-43 with four minutes left. Freshman Claire Gulbin (Wilton, Conn.) finished a 3-point play the old-fashioned way and found junior Haley Vanty (Berlin, Conn.) for extra insurance in the final minutes, and the Camels ran away with the 21-point triumph.

Before the Camels would eventually break loose, the opening quarter was a nip-and-tuck battle which featured six lead changes between the teams. Melanie Binkort answered an initial bucket by Ashton by connecting from downtown to begin a stretch of the squads exchanging five baskets out of the gates and set the tone for the frame. Corcoran, however, hit two shots in a row and sophomore Casey Walsh (Phoenixville, Pa.) followed with a trifecta to give the Camels a 20-16 advantage through one quarter of play.

Bates fought back in the second and most notably embarked on a 10-0 run to seize the lead during a four-minute span. Meghan Graff drilled two free throws and a field goal to get the Bobcats going, and Ariana Dalia drove in for two more layups to make it 30-25 at the 3:39 mark. Connecticut College then responded by scoring the final four points of the quarter, as Corcoran found Pangallo for a 3-pointer and canned a charity shot to shift the pendulum the Camels' way for the remainder of the game.

Corcoran, Pangallo and Ashton all scored in twin figures by shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Corcoran and Ashton recorded 17 points and two steals apiece, while Corcoran pulled down six rebounds and dished out three assists. Pangallo netted 14, and senior Kylie Caouette (Ashburnham, Mass.) provided a spark off the bench with 13 points and four steals. All of Caouette's four field goals were dialed from long distance.

Bates (8-10, NESCAC 1-6) was paced by Binkhorst, who scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed six boards. Erika Lamere and Dalia netted 10 points apiece, but they were guilty for collectively committing nearly half of the Bobcats' 27 turnovers in the contest.

Connecticut College (12-8, NESCAC 3-4) will look to remain in postseason contention when it next hosts Trinity on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. The Camels will recognize their four-member senior class prior to the contest.