BIDDEFORD — Behind 25 points for Sam MacDonald, the University of New England jumped out to a big lead and finished strong to beat in-state rival Bates, 76-56, in women’s college basketball action Monday night at Harold Alfond Forum.

MacDonald poured in 11 points in a near-perfect first quarter, making 4 of 5 shots (including a 3-pointer) and both free throws to come close to the Bobcats’ (1-4) team total of 12.

Down by 16 after 10 minutes, the Bobcats tried chipping away at the Nor’easters’ (4-1) lead during the middle quarters, cutting the deficit to 10 heading into the fourth. But the hosts had the final answer, holding Bates to 2-of-17 shooting in the fourth.

The Nor’easters didn’t fare much better in the final period, making just 4 of 18 shots, but all of the makes came from behind the arc.

Nina Davenport led the Bobcats with 20 points, bringing her within three of the 1,000-point mark for her career.

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