Courtesy Bowdoin Sports Information
BRUNSWICK, Maine - Leah Rubega scored a game-high 18 points to lead top-seeded Bowdoin to a 74-56 win over fifth-seed Trinity in the semifinals of the 2009 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday. The Polar Bears (21-4), winners of seven of the conference's eight championships, return to the title game after a one year absence. The Bantams, who were making their first appearance in the NESCAC semifinals, fall to 17-8.
With the game tied 7-7 in the early going, Claire Arnstein sparked a 10-2 Trinity surge, hitting a pair of fast break lay-ups and a jump shot to give the Bantams a 17-9 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the opening period. Bowdoin rallied to When Arnstein nailed another shot from the wing two minutes later, the Bantams held a 21-15 edge with 10 minutes left in the period.
Bowdoin's defense clamped down from there, allowing just two points over the final 10:22 and forcing 10 Bantam turnovers. Getting 17 points from frontcourt mates Rubega and Caitlin Hynes, the Polar Bears closed the half on a 17-2 run to take a nine-point lead at intermission. When Hynes banked in a short jumper at the buzzer, Bowdoin held their largest lead of the game 32-23.
The teams traded buckets to open the second half, but Bowdoin put the game away with a 22-6 run over a ten-minute span. After not hitting a three-pointer in the first half, the Polar Bears connected for four in the second stanza to help put the game out of reach. Bowdoin led by as many as 24 points in the second half en route to victory.
Rubega collected a team-high six rebounds in addition to her game-high point total as Bowdoin out-rebounded the Bantams 50-37 for the game. Hynes ended with 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks for the Polar Bears while Alexa Kaubris also saw double figures with 10 points.
Trinity was led by 15 points from Arnstein, while Christine Card (12 and six rebounds) and Michelle Royals (11) also saw double digits.
The Polar Bears will play Amherst or Tufts in the NESCAC title game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.