Defending Champ Bowdoin Upends Tufts in Overtime in Women's Basketball Quarterfinals
Courtesy Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. - Visiting Bowdoin College out-scored Tufts 15-4 in overtime as the Polar Bears continued their great success in the NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship with a 65-54 victory in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium.
Bowdoin (20-5), led by a game-high 24 points from senior tri-captain Caitlin Hynes (Owl's Head, Maine) overall, advances to the conference semi-finals. They will face Colby (22-3) next Saturday (Feb. 27) at Amherst College. The Polar Bears, winners of eight conference titles, are now 25-1 overall since the conference tournament began in 2001. Tufts (20-5), led by 17 points and 17 rebounds from senior Julia Baily (Farmington, Conn.), will await a possible at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The Jumbos had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. After sophomore Kate Barnosky (Huntington Station, N.Y.) rebounded her own three-pointer miss, Tufts pulled it out and put the ball in the hands of junior guard Colleen Hart (Needham, Mass.). In the closing seconds, Hart's underhand scoop-shot missed and was rebounded by junior tri-captain Vanessa Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) under the basket. Miller's lay-up didn't fall and Bowdoin senior tri-captain Leah Rubega (Norwich, Conn.) grabbed the rebound to send the game to overtime tied at 50-50.
Hynes scored six points and blocked three shots in OT for Bowdoin, while senior tri-captain Sabrina Cote (Dexter, Maine) had four points. Rubega grabbed two of the Polar Bears' three offensive rebounds in the period. The Jumbos made just one of nine shots in overtime, helping Bowdoin build a seven-point lead (61-54) with the clock winding down under a minute. The Polar Bears were nine for 10 from the free throw line in the extra period.
The game was tightly contested throughout between fourth-seed Tufts and fifth-seed Bowdoin. Hynes had 16 points in the first half as the Polar Bears took a 32-27 advantage into halftime. Baily had nine points and seven boards at the break for Tufts.
The Polar Bears extended the lead to nine (36-27) early in the second half following a lay-up by first year Kaitlin Donahoe (Amherst, N.Y.). Tufts answered with a 14-4 run during a six-minute span to take a 41-40 lead at the halfway point of the period. The Jumbos went up by five (46-41) on Barnosky's lay-up at 5:46, but a three-point play by junior Katie Bergeron (Bradley, Maine) and a bucket by Rubega tied the score at 46-46 at the four-minute mark. Tufts twice took two-point leads on free throws by Hart and Baily, but a lay-up by sophomore Amy Hackett (Bangor, Maine) assisted by Hynes with 56 seconds on the clock tied it at 50-50. After Tufts was unable to convert at the other end, the game went to overtime and Bowdoin dominated.
Cote was the only other scorer in double figures for Bowdoin with 11 points, while Rubega finished with nine points and 12 rebounds. Bergeron tallied six points, seven rebounds, and three assists. The Polar Bears finished with a 34-14 advantage in paint scoring.
Barnosky also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Tufts, which shot just 28.1 percent (18/64) overall. Miller helped Tufts earn a 48-42 rebounding edge with nine boards to go with six points, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. The Jumbos got just 19 minutes of action out of sophomore starter Tiffany Kornegay (Carver, Mass.) due to foul trouble. Tufts was an uncharacteristic 14 for 23 (60.9 percent) from the foul line.