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Bates Defeats Wesleyan, 80-60, in 2008 Holiday Inn/Naismith Women's Final

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – January 4, 2008 –Tourney MVP Val Beckwith scored a game-high 18 points and added 5 assists to lead her Bates College women’s basketball team to an 80-60 victory over Wesleyan University this afternoon at James Naismith Court at Springfield’s Blake Arena in the women’s championship game of the Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic.

With the win, Bates raised its record to 6-3, while Wesleyan fell to 8-3. This is the 13th annual Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic on the women’s side, while it is the 21st annual on the men’s side. Earlier this afternoon, William Paterson defeated host Springfield, 65-59, in the women’s consolation. In the men’s consolation, Roger Williams University defeated Drew University, 64-51. Tonight, in the men’s championship game, Springfield will take on Montclair State University.

Featuring a very balanced attack, Bates had five players score in double figures. The Bobcats were led by Beckwith, a junior forward from Woburn, Mass., who scored 18 points. She was 7-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Besides those 5 assists, she also had 2 steals. Others in double figures included senior forward Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.) with 13 points (and a team-high 11 rebounds); senior center Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.) with 12 points (and 8 rebounds); sophomore forward Danielle Schaefers (Barrington, R.I.) with 11 points (in just 12 minutes); and senior guard Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) with 10 points and a Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic record 12 assists. The previous record of 10 assists was held by Springfield’s Jill Mathers versus King’s (Pa.) on Jan. 4, 1997.

Beckwith and Coffin were named to the All-Tourney team, with Beckwith named the tourney’s MVP.

For Wesleyan, a 70-55 winner over Springfield yesterday in first-round action, senior forward Lucy Sprung (Wilmington, Vt.) produced her second consecutive career high. Yesterday, she scored 21. Today, she scored 25 points. She also recorded a game-high 12 rebounds. The only other double-figure scorer in today’s game for the Cardinals was freshman guard Allie Southam (Santa Monica, Calif.) with 11 points. Junior forward Meredith Lowe (Philadelphia, Pa.), who produced a career-high 19 points yesterday, had 7 points and 4 rebounds today.

Sprung and Lowe were the all-tournament representatives from Wesleyan.

Early in the first half, Wesleyan had two two-point leads, 4-2 and 6-4. Then with 16:49 left, sophomore guard Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H.) made a lay-up to tie it. Then Beckwith hit a three-pointer to put the Bobcats into the lead for good, 9-6 with 16:27 left. Bates would up the lead to 18 (45-27) with 2:30 to go, its largest lead of the first half. Wesleyan scored the last four points, including a lay-up by Sprung at the buzzer to cut the margin to 14 at the intermission (45-31).

Bates was never in trouble in the second half, leading by as many as 26 (78-52) with 2:42 left when Beckwith made two free throws.

Bates also set two Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic team records in this contest. The .569 field goal percentage (33-of-58) broke the old mark of .532 (33-62) by William Smith versus Springfield on Jan. 5, 1997. Bates’ 27 assists broke the old mark of 26 by Springfield versus RPI on Jan. 5, 1996.

2008 HOLIDAY INN/NAISMITH WOMEN’S ALL-TOURNEY TEAM

Val Beckwith – Bates (MVP)
Meg Coffin – Bates
Lucy Sprung – Wesleyan
Meredith Lowe – Wesleyan
Lauren O’Connor – Springfield
Julie Haledjian – William Paterson

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Naomi Graves Entering her 23rd season as head coach in 2013-14, Naomi Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 18 years, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Read more.

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