LEWISTON — University of Maine at Farmington senior Alex Bessey scored the 1,000th point of her college career while Bates College offered a dazzling display of depth on Tuesday night.

Bates’ bench occupied the limelight in the second half as the Bobcats, in their first game of the season, glided to an 85-56 victory over the Beavers in a women’s basketball game at Alumni Gym.

Bessey, who entered the game 15 points shy, reached the milestone when she hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter. She was the game-high scorer with 21 points.

“It is a pretty cool achievement, especially my fifth year coming back,” said Bessey, a Spruce Mountain High School graduate who also played two seasons at Central Maine Community College. “So I am back in the stadium, no masks … it is a pretty cool experience.”

Monmouth Academy graduate Tia Day scored 13 and went 5-for-5 at the free-throw line for UMF.

But the Bobcats’ depth, speed and run-and-gun offense were too much for the Beavers.


“(UMF) is super tough. They have some good players,” Bates coach Alison Montgomery said. “They are coming off a weekend with two wins, so (they had) good confidence.”

Montgomery said the 29-point win allowed her entire team to see some action.

“There were some real bright moments with just kind of the tempo we are trying to play,” she said. “We are trying to push transitions, so I think we are trying to figure that out. We went on a couple of spurts and just really shared the ball. I thought a lot of people contributed, so I am really happy with that.”

Meghan Graff paced the Bobcats’ all-around effort with a team-high 17 points, followed by Morgan Kennedy with 16. Brianna Gadaletta, Amaari Williams and Kayla Bridgeman each scored 10 points.

Montgomery noted there are some areas that Bates needs to improve.

“I expected our defense to be a lot better than it was,” she said. “So that is where we really need to take up a lot of things. But offensively, yeah, we are going to be tough.”


The Beavers stayed right on the Bobcats for most of the first half, with Bates coming out on top at 46-36 at halftime.

“Yeah, that is a tough Bates team,” Bessey, who is from Jay, said. “We were probably the underdog coming in, so to stay with that team I will take (as) a win in my book.”

UMF interim coach Nate Carson was impressed with his team as well as Bates’ indomitable bench.

“We were right with them,” Carson said. “When things go wrong, that’s when (the Bobcats) take advantage. They have a lot of horses, and they are big, fast and shoot the (heck) out of the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised that’s a ranked team by the end of things. That’s a tough group, I think.”

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