WATERVILLE — For a few fleeting moments to start the second half, it appeared Bates College might have survived Colby College’s first-half onslaught. If momentum continued to pivot their way, the Bobcats might even be able to pull off another comeback.

Then the long-range weapons that helped the Mules open up a big early lead — specifically Mia Diplock and Carylanne Wolfington — started firing again, and before you could say Thanksgiving break, Sunday’s non-conference game between the NESCAC rivals was over.

Diplock poured in a game-high 21 points, Wolfington added 20 off the bench and the duo combined to hit seven of 12 3-point attempts to send Colby to a 79-54 thrashing of Bates Sunday at Wadsworth Gym.

The Mules, who improved to 6-0 on the season, shot 11-for-27 (41 percent) from 3-point range. Caitlyn Nolan contributed to the barrage by shooting 3-for-7 to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

“We’re definitely very confident,” Diplock said. “We’ve been shooting well and doing a good job of getting into the lane and either scoring or getting to the free throw line.”

Bernadette Connors led the Bobcats (5-3), who came back from down 18 points to beat University of Southern Maine in their last game, with nine points and six rebounds. Allie Coppola and Kristin Calvo added eight apiece.

Bates took a quick bite out of Colby’s 16-point halftime lead with a 3-pointer by Calvo and Chelsea Nason’s steal and layup that made it 44-33.

But Diplock, the former Cony standout, ignited the decisive 16-2 Colby run with a smooth drive down the lane, spin and bank shot with the left hand. She followed that with a deep 3-pointer in front of the Mules’ bench. Moments later, Wolfington, the former Hall-Dale star, launched one of her own from almost the exact same spot, triggering a Bates time out. Brooke Chandor hit a 3 of her own after the time out to extend Colby’s lead to 55-33.

“I thought we did a really good job sticking together, taking the extra pass and being the aggressor,” Colby coach Julie Veilleux said.

“Colby outplayed us, outcoached us, out-everythinged us,” Bates coach Jim Murphy said. “To be honest with you, we were never in it. They shot the ball exceptionally well. They played really, really well and took us out of what we wanted to do.”

The Mules did that by staying close to Bates’ shooters on the perimeter. Unlike Colby’s perimeter scorers, the Bobcats enjoyed very few open looks from the outside.

“Our coach said we really have to pay attention to their guards on the perimeter. I think that’s where our entire game started is on the defensive end,” Wolfington said.

Bates missed its first six shots of the game while Diplock was scoring the first six points — off a nice feed from Chandor, on a drive through the lane and another one along the baseline.

“We knew the two plays that they run the most — the wheel play and the flex-screen play — and we just tried to jam that up as much as we could and help each other out if we ever got stuck,” Diplock said.

“I just thought we were sluggish, tentative — looked like I felt after Thanksgiving dinner,” Murphy said.

Bates finally got on the board with a Calvo 3-pointer 4:58 in. Emily Freedland’s 3 pulled the Bobcats within 15-12. But Colby answered with a 13-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Wolfington, Diplock and Nolan.

The Mules shot 46 percent from the floor for the game, scoring 28 baskets on 18 assists, led by five from Chandor.

“I think we just know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we just look for the open person when the shot is there,” Wolfington said.

“Something we’ve been doing this year is staying together and playing really good team ball,” Veilleux said. “Different people have had to step up different nights, but we’re always looking for each other. I think we saw that on both ends tonight.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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