LEWISTON — Neither Bates nor Saint Joseph’s College had a great shooting night when the two women’s basketball teams faced off Thursday. Thankfully for the visiting Monks, they had Morgan Cahill to ease the pain of those shooting woes.

Cahill scored 27 points, most of them in the paint, as St. Joe’s won the non-conference affair 61-54 at Alumni Gym.

“She’s the reason we won,” St. Joe’s head coach Mike McDevitt said of Cahill. “Without her we don’t win today. She played great.”

The teams played to a low-scoring draw in the first half, as the game was tied 25-25 at the break. The Monks (7-2) let slip an eight-point lead in the first quarter, then climbed back from a five-point Bobcats (2-6) advantage in the second. The teams combined to go 2-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half (both makes by Bates) and made just 4-of-15 free throws.

“We were being really aggressive offensively,” Bates head coach Alison Montgomery said of her team’s first half.

Cahill led all first-half scorers with 10 points, while Bates spread its points evenly among eight players (six from Nina Davenport).

The Monks’ other post player, Emily Benway, put her team up for good by scoring St. Joe’s first four points of the second half. Cahill then scored the next five for the Monks and finished with nine in the third quarter to stake St. Joe’s to a 44-37 lead.

“In the second half we tried to be a little more patient,” McDevitt said. “I think you saw a few more passes per possession, allowed us to maybe get some easier looks. Certainly for Morgan, but for some of the other players too.”

While the Monks’ shooting improved in the period, the Bobcats regressed, making just two field goals in the third and relying on eight made free throws to keep the game close.

“I think we started hesitating on the offensive end, particularly in the third quarter,” Montgomery said. “I think it was mostly offensively just kind of stalling.”

St. Joe’s stretched its lead in the fourth, however, leading by as much as 13 on an Emily Kehoe layup with just over four minutes to play.

The Bobcats just had no answer for Cahill, the 6-foot senior center from Yarmouth. She was an efficient 13 of 16 from the floor, and also pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.

“She kind of picked up the level of her game (in the second half), and we didn’t match it,” Montgomery said of Cahill.

The undersized Bobcats couldn’t match up any players as tall as Cahill. Davenport, Allie Coppola and Chelsea Nason all saw time trying to defend the paint. That trio made up Bates’ top three scorers — 11, 13 and nine, respectively — but they combined to shoot just 9 for 25 from the field.

“I thought our defense was real good,” McDevitt said.

Davenport had a team-high 11 rebounds, and Coppola added nine for Bates, which shot 30.4 percent for the game, made just 18.2 percent of its 22 3-point tries.

“It just comes down to hitting shots,” Montgomery said.

The Monks didn’t make any of their 12 3-point shots. They didn’t need to. They shot 45.9 percent overall, and made 11 more shots than Bates.

The loss stopped the Bobcats’ winning streak at two games. They’re off until the new year, when they host conference rival Bowdoin on January 2.

“We got a ton to work on,” Montgomery said. “We just talked a lot about we need to keep developing offensive chemistry.”

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