Dalia, Graff lead women's basketball in season-opening loss to Lycoming

Ariana Dalia scored 16 points with nine rebounds in Bates' 67-56 loss to Lycoming in the season opener at Drew University on Nov. 15, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

MADISON, N.J. -- After trailing for half of the game, Lycoming College pulled even and then away from the Bates women's basketball team to win 67-56 on Friday at the Rose City Tipoff Classic at Drew University, in the season opener for both teams.

Bates (0-1) will play in the tournament consolation game Saturday at noon against Plattsburgh State (0-1), which fell 66-59 to host Drew in the tournament's opening game.

Sophomore Meghan Graff (South Portland, Maine) scored a game-high 20 points and sophomore Ariana Dalia (Brick, N.J.) posted 16 points and nine rebounds while shooting 8-of-13 from the field. But Bates struggled shooting the ball, particularly from long range, where the Bobcats made 2-of-23 shots (8.7%). The Warriors had a team field-goal percentage of .433 to .333 for Bates, and they made 10-of-11 shots from the free-throw line while Bates made 6-of-9.

The Bobcats led 9-8 early on before a 10-0 run, featuring two baskets by Dalia and one apiece by Graff, junior Taylor McVeigh (Hanson, Mass.) and first-year Brianna Gadaleta (Chappaqua, N.Y.), and Bates took a 19-10 lead entering the second quarter.

Gadaleta went on to knock down a three and add a layup, on assists by junior Julia Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.) and sophomore Mia Roy (Bedford, N.H.), respectively, for a 24-12 Bates lead early in the second quarter. Lycoming cut the lead to six on a layup by Akilah McFadden before Graff made a layup on an assist by sophomore Molly O'Brien (Vernon, Vt.) to give the Bobcats a 30-22 lead at halftime.

McFadden assisted a three by Kayla Kline 11 seconds into the third quarter, and after a pair of missed 3-pointers, Morgan Mader made another three for the Warriors to close the deficit to two (30-28). A pair of foul shots by McFadden evened the score, and a layup by Kline with 6:32 remaining in the quarter gave Lycoming its first lead since 6-5, at 32-30, marking 10 straight points for the Warriors.

Bates fought over the next four minutes to draw back even, which it did at 38-38 with two free throws by Graff.

Morgan answered with a three, which started an 8-0 run that put Lycoming in the lead for good.

Bates mounted an 8-2 run early in the fourth quarter, as three consecutive layups by Dalia, two of which came off of Dalia steals, drew the Bobcats within two (50-48) with 7:06 left in the game. A three-point play by Kenzie Reed with 5:44 to go made it 55-48, and Kline's three with 3:41 to go gave Lycoming an eight-point cushion. Bates couldn't cut the lead down from that point on.

Binkhorst had nine points and seven rebounds for Bates, and Gadaleta scored nine points with three rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes off of the bench.

McVeigh grabbed eight rebounds, helping Bates to a 47-39 advantage on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds.