Courtesy of Bowdoin Sports Information
BRUNSWICK, Maine – For the second year in a row and third time in program history, the Bowdoin women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division III "Final Four" with an 87-61 victory over Ithaca in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears (30-1) tied a school record for victories (2004) and will play St. Thomas (Minn.) in the NCAA Semifinals on Friday, March 15 in Salem, Va. Thomas More and Scranton will play in the other semifinal. Game times will be announced Sunday. Ithaca ends a fantastic season with a record of 25-6.
- Bowdoin quickly went up 14-5 to begin the game, sparked by a Hannah Graham 3-pointer.
- Ithaca was able to cut into the Bowdoin lead as Allie Tunick and Meghan Pickell connected from downtown in back-to-back possessions, trimming the lead to 14-11 late in the frame.
- Bowdoin closed the first quarter with a 22-15 edge, but the Bombers started the second period on a 7-4 surge, cutting the Polar Bear advantage to 26-22.
- Ithaca came within one point, 32-31, after a Meghan Mazzella layup with 3:19 left in the period, but Bowdoin stemmed the tide with another trifecta from Graham, and carried a 36-31 edge into the break.
- Despite being in foul trouble in the opening half, Ithaca was on fire from deep, connecting on 5-of-11 threes in the first 20 minutes.
- Bowdoin was having its way in the paint in the first half, scoring 18 points (half of its total points) down low, while also drawing contact to get to the line, converting on 10-of-14 first-half free throws.
- The Polar Bears took command in the third quarter, opening the half on a 10-2 run, capped by an Abby Kelly 3-pointer and Taylor Choate three-point play, extending the lead to 13 points, 46-33.
- Ithaca never fully recovered from that run, and never got closer than nine points for the remainder of the game.
- Bowdoin poured it on in the fourth quarter, hitting on 60 percent from the field and outscoring Ithaca 28-12. The Polar Bears led by as many as 26 points on their way to the victory.
By The Numbers
- All five Bowdoin starters scored in double figures, led by Taylor Choate, who scored 21 points with six assists, five rebounds, and three steals.
- Abby Kelly added 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. Maddie Hasson posted her second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 11 caroms. Samantha Roy tacked on 13 points and five assists. Hannah Graham scored 10 points and secured five rebounds.
- Annie Giannone was the team-high scorer for Ithaca with 12 points. Cassidy O'Malley added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Bombers.
- Ithaca got a quality contribution from its bench, providing 24 points.
- The Polar Bears dominated the glass, out-rebounding Ithaca by a total of 49-to-21 and scoring 12 second-chance points.
- The Polar Bears shot 31-of-66 (47%) for the contest while holding Ithaca to 23-of-55 (41.8%).
- Bowdoin will battle St. Thomas (Minn.) in the NCAA Semifinals on Friday, March 15 in Salem, Va. Game time will be announced Sunday.