Women's basketball's offense comes alive in 96-55 win over New England College

Sophomore Ariana Dalia finished two points shy of her career-high, tallying 18 points on 8-11 shooting in the Bates women's basketball team's 96-55 win over New England College on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomores Meghan Graff and Ariana Dalia scored a combined 41 points and the Bates women's basketball team rolled to a 96-55 win over New England College Tuesday night at Alumni Gym.

Graff (South Portland, Maine) led all scorers with 23 points on 10-16 shooting and Dalia (Brick, N.J.) poured in 18 points on 8-11 shooting. First-year Jenna Berens (Durham, Conn.) added 12 points on 5-8 shooting off the bench. In addition to her game-high in points, Graff also led all players in rebounds (7) and assists (6) on the night. Junior captain Julia Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.) chipped in nine points and a game-high four steals. 

Rene Hudson and Ericka Pratt scored 12 and 10 points respectively to pace the Pilgrims (16-5) in the contest.

Bates (10-10) set a new mark for most points scored in one game since Alison Montgomery became the head coach in 2015-16. Tuesday's 96 points surpassed last year's output of 95 against UMaine-Farmington. It's the most points the Bobcats have scored in one game since the 2014-15 season. 

The Bobcats shot a season-high 48.8% from the floor in the win. They also hit 7-15 from three-point range. Bates held the Pilgrims to 33.3% shooting from the floor and 3-13 shooting from outside. 

The Pilgrims turned the ball over 22 times in the contest and Bates only turned it over 10 times. The Bobcats tallied 33 points off turnover and dominated in the paint, out-scoring the Pilgrims 44-30 there. 

Bates and New England College traded buckets to start the game but Graff's jumper with 8:10 left in the first quarter put the Bobcats ahead for good. It started a 9-0 run and Bates went ahead 11-2 on a three-point play from Graff with 6:02 left in the opening 10 minutes.

Graff out-scored the Pilgrims by herself in the first quarter, finishing with 10 points. Bates led 23-9 at the end of one.

All 13 players on the roster put the ball in the hoop for Bates, including sophomore Amaari Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who returned from injury to play in her first game since Jan. 19, 2019.

The Bobcats return to action this Friday when they host NESCAC foe Connecticut College at 7pm. Bates is now 7-2 at home this season, with both losses coming to teams ranked in the top three in the country.