Williams women get red-hot in third quarter to drop Bates
WILLIAMSTOWN — Fire and ice. Both were on display Saturday afternoon at Chandler Gym.
The Williams women's basketball team made only four baskets in the second quarter and scored but nine points. In the third quarter, the Ephs missed one of 13 shots, scored 35 points and ran away from Bates in a 77-42 win.
"We knew we were getting open shots. They just weren't falling" in the second quarter, Eph point guard Maggie Meehan said. "We just needed to bring it back in, stay composed, get more focused."
Williams (8-7, 2-2 in NESCAC) made the first six shots of the third quarter. Lauren Vostal's miss with 5:17 left in the quarter was the only miss of the third. The Ephs went on a 14-0 run to open the quarter. The math has 12-for-13 shooting equaling 92.3 percent.
"Is that what it was?" Williams coach Pat Manning said when asked about the third-quarter shooting. "What were we, 4 for 20 in the second period? We were getting those same shots in the first half. We just didn't finish.
"We were much more composed in the second half."
Meehan scored a career-high 22 points for Williams. The sophomore guard from Southington, Conn., had nine of those 22 at halftime. She and senior co-captain Lauren Vostal were the Ephs who scored in double figures, as Vostal had 12 points to go with a game-high seven rebounds.
Williams entered Saturday's game coming off a loss to sixth-ranked Tufts Friday night. That was a game where the Ephs scored four points in the second quarter, shooting 2 for 8 from the field.
"I think last night served as motivation for us to perform the way we know we can," said Meehan. "We didn't perform the way we know we can play last night. It's about showing people that we can compete."
The compete level went up in the third quarter as Williams put the game away.
Bates' Meghan Graff missed the first shot of the third quarter. Vostal rebounded to start the offense. The ball worked around to Meehan, who drained a 3-point basket from the right wing, turning a 26-23 halftime score into a six-point Williams lead.
Lexi Jones scored an old-fashioned three-point play, Meehan got inside for two and when Vostal caught a pass from Jones for an easy bucket, all of a sudden it was 36-22. It took less than three minutes for the Ephs to extend the lead to double figures and that forced Bates coach Alison Montgomery to call time out.
That did not stop the Williams run and after another 17-2 burst, Bates had to call another time out. But it was 53-25, and the damage was done.
Meehan scored 11 of her 22 points in the third quarter, going 3 for 3 from outside the arc in the stanza.
Prior to Saturday's game, Meehan's top scoring output was 19 points in a December loss at Vassar.
"I think it was a sigh of relief. Once one went in, then everyone was like 'Oh, we can do this,'" Meehan said.
Melanie Binkhorst was the only player in double figures for Bates (5-7, 1-3), scoring 14.
Williams outrebounded the Bobcats 42-27, led by as many as 38 points, and dominated down low by outscoring Bates 38-20 in the paint.
Williams will host Amherst in a Little Three game on Wednesday, a game that will not count in the NESCAC standings. It's the last game at home for the Ephs until February.
"Our record is so not-indicative of who we are. I just think we need to get on a roll," Manning said. "We've had sort of starts and stops. We are a work in progress for sure.
"I just think we have a lot of good basketball left to play."
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @howardherman on Twitter or 413-496-6253.
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