Courtesy Bowdoin Sports Information
ITHACA, N.Y. - The Bowdoin College women's basketball team rallied from a seven-point second half deficit to defeat the University of Southern Maine, 75-68, in the First Round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Friday evening at Ithaca College.
With the win, Bowdoin advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 12th consecutive season and will face Ithaca at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.
The Polar Bears (20-7) avenge an early-season loss to the Huskies and reach 20 victories for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. In addition, Bowdoin has now won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last 12 seasons- the longest streak in Division III basketball - and improve to 3-1 in tournament play all-time against their Gorham rivals.
Kaitlin Donahoe led four Bowdoin players in double digits with 20 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Amy Hackett scored 14 points while Jill Henrikson added 12 points and six rebounds. Allie Piscina was the difference in the game, pitching in 13 points off the bench, including eight in the second half, for the Polar Bears.
Courtney Cochran's 20 points and 17 rebounds paced Southern Maine. She made 10 of 12 attempts from the line. Nicole Garland contributed 17 points, Jordan Grant added 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals off the bench.
A quick start by Bowdoin was capped by a three-pointer by Donahoe midway through the opening period, giving the Polar Bears a 25-14 lead. The Huskies responded with a 13-0 run to regain the leadand carried a 36-32 edge into intermission.
Southern Maine pushed its lead to seven points, 43-36, after a Courtney Cochran free throw with 14:34 remaining. Piscinia sparked a quick 11-4 surge for Bowdoin with a three-pointer from the wing and Donahoe drew the Polar Bears even with another trifecta to deadlock the contest at 47 apiece with 11:16 to go.
The game was tied five times and the lead changed hands on four occasions over the next five minutes until, with 5:34 remaining, first-year Megan Phelps keyed a decisive 9-2 run for Bowdoin, hitting a three-pointer with 3:25 left to push the lead to 67-60. Southern Maine was able to trim the lead to three points on two occasions, but Bowdoin hit 6-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal the win.
Southern Maine connected on 41.8% of its shots (23-55) compared to 38.7% (24-62) for Bowdoin, but the Polar Bears hit nine three-pointers in the game to just three for USM. The Huskies held a 43-38 edge on the glass, but committed 22 turnovers in the loss.