AMHERST, Mass. – The top-seeded Amherst College women's basketball team is set to host eighth-seeded Bates College in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
SETTING THE SCENE
Amherst, ranked first in the nation in both the D3hoops.com and WBCA coaches polls, and Bates last met on February 3 in Lewiston, Maine with the Purple & White claiming a decisive, 75-37 victory. Amherst, which earned its first number one seed in the NESCAC tournament since 2012 and fifth time overall, is 25-8 all-time in the conference tournament, and is looking to defend its crown from 2015-16. The Purple & White are 3-2 in the postseason against Bates, including an 82-29 win over the Bobcats in last year's first round matchup.
Amherst takes the floor boasting a perfect, 24-0 record overall, highlighted by a 10-0 ledger against NESCAC competition. The Purple & White enter playoff action averaging 72.6 points per game, while allowing a miniscule 40.6 points per contest as Amherst's stellar defense has held its league rivals to under 40 points on seven occasions this season.
Amherst is led by the program's all-time leading scorer, Ali Doswell '17, who surpassed Liz Garner '89 (1,413 points) in the regular season meeting at Bates. Ali Doswell, who also set the program's all-time made three-pointers record on the same shot, has now scored 1,460 career points, and swished 256 treys. Meredith Doswell '17 and Emma McCarthy '19 have been terrific on the glass, averaging 6.4 and 6.3 rebounds per game respectively, while Hannah Hackley '18 has averaged 8.8 points per game. Leading the effort is Jaimie Renner '17 who averages 3.1 assists per game.
Bates (8-15, 3-7 NESCAC) is making back-to-back appearances in the NESCAC Championship for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The Bobcats are the eighth seed for the first time and their last semifinal appearance was in 2010, when they faced Amherst. Bates has won two of its last three games entering the tournament.
The Bobcats are led by Nina Davenport and Allie Coppola who average 13.6 and 13.1 points per game respectively. Coppola also serves as the team's leading rebounder with a 10.3 boards per game average in 2016-17. Bernadette Connors has been the distributor for Bates throughout the season averaging 3.7 assists per game. Connors also follows Davenport and Coppola in scoring average. (10.2 points per outing). The Bobcats enter postseason play averaging 57.8 points per game, and allowing 64.1 points per contest.