NCAA Semifinal: Bowdoin 71, St. Thomas (MN) 60

NCAA Semifinal: Bowdoin 71, St. Thomas (MN) 60

Courtesy of Bowdoin Sports Information

SALEM, Va. – For the second straight season, the Bowdoin College women's basketball team will play for the NCAA Division III Championship.

The Polar Bears (31-1) overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat St. Thomas, 71-60, and punch their ticket to the national title game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of Thomas More and Scranton. St. Thomas ends its season with a record of 31-2.

Game Highlights

  • The Tommies led 11-10 after one quarter as the Polar Bears struggled from long range (0-5) and shot just 33 percent through the first 10 minutes.
  • Bowdoin found their stride in the second frame as Abby Kelly scored six early points to regain the lead for the Polar Bears.  
  • Kelly and Moira Train knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to key a 7-2 surge for the Polar Bears that opened up a 27-18 lead with four minutes to go in the period.
  • Bowdoin led by as many as 11, but St. Thomas clawed back with five straight points late in the frame, only to see Maddie Hasson finish off a 14-point first half with a layup to give the Polar Bears a 33-25 edge at intermission.
  • The Polar Bears continued their hot shooting in the third period and opened up as much as an 11-point lead on a pair of Taylor Choate free throws with 2:17 remaining in the frame.
  • But the Tommies rolled off a 7-0 run to close the quarter, trimming the Bowdoin lead to just four points, 49-45, entering the fourth quarter.
  • St. Thomas continued its surge into the final frame, scoring the first six points, the last four from Hannah Spaulding, to take its first lead since the second quarter, 51-49, with 7:43 remaining.
  • The Tommies went up as many as five points following a 3-pointer from Lucia Renikoff, 54-49, with 7:21 remaining in the game.
  • Maddie Hasson responded in a big way for Bowdoin, hitting a layup and then following up with a three-point play to deadlock the contest at 56 with 5:18 to go.
  • Moira Train drove to the hoop, and converted while being fouled to regain the lead for Bowdoin, 58-56; a lead they would never surrender for the rest of the game.
  • The Tommies, who went without a field goal over the final 6:18 of the game, stayed within striking distance thanks to free throws, and cut the lead to two points, 59-57, with under four minutes to play.
  • The teams exchanged scoreless possessions until a Maddie Hasson missed jumper was corralled by Moira Train. The ball cycled to the top of the key, where Abby Kelly settled and buried a back-breaking 3-pointer, giving the Polar Bears a 62-57 lead with 3:05 to go.
  • Kelly hit another jumper to give Bowdoin a larger cushion and Taylor Choate blocked a 3-point attempt for St. Thomas with 1:04 to go, essentially clinching the victory for the Polar Bears.

By The Numbers

  • The Polar Bears set a new program record for wins (31) and will play for the national title for the third time on Saturday. Bowdoin lost in the NCAA Championship game in 2004 (Wilmington) and 2018 (Amherst).
  • Bowdoin finished at 45.5 percent shooting for the game and held St. Thomas to 41.5 percent from the field.
  • Maddie Hasson scored 25 points to go with six rebounds and a steal.
  • Abby Kelly carried the Polar Bears offensively for long stretches and finished with 21 points and six rebounds on 7-11 shooting. Taylor Choate added 14 points while Moira Train added a career-high 11, including a pair of 3-pointers.
  • Hannah Spaulding led St. Thomas with 17 points and eight caroms.
  • Bowdoin held a 37-29 edge in rebounding and knocked down 17-or-23 from the free-throw line, including six in the final three minutes to ice the win.