BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College women's basketball team will look to continue its Cinderella run in the NESCAC Tournament this weekend as they battled second-seeded Amherst in the conference semifinals on Saturday evening.
Saturday's doubleheader will get underway with the matchup between the only two schools to have ever won a NESCAC Women's Basketball crown - Amherst and Bowdoin at 5:30 p.m. Third seeded Williams and fourth seeded Middlebury will then face off in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. Advancing teams will square off for the conference championship on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. At stake will be an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Tickets for each day will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Children under 12 years of age will be admitted free of charge. Streaming video will be available for all three games courtesy of Amherst. Live statistics will also be available. Click the links above to follow online.
Amherst (24-1, 9-1 NESCAC) has been a dominant force over the last four seasons, accumulating an overall record of 119-5. After taking home the national title in 2011, the Lord Jeffs made their third straight appearance in the final four last winter. This year's team opened with 22 straight wins before dropping a 71-51 decision to longtime rival Williams on February 10.
Led by sophomore Megan Robertson, Amherst cruised to an 80-34 triumph over seventh seeded Trinity on Saturday. The forward finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals in the contest. One year after earning NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors, Robertson has averaged 12.5 points and a league-best 9.2 rebounds per outing. She also leads the conference in field goal percentage (52.3%) and blocked shots (69). Amherst has received solid production from senior guard Marcia Voigt, who has posted 12.8 points per game to go with 56 steals and a league-high 103 assists.
The Lord Jeffs will have to find a way to get past an upset-minded Bowdoin (14-10, 4-6 NESCAC) squad to have a shot at their fifth NESCAC title. After narrowly qualifying for the tournament field, the Polar Bears used a balanced scoring attack to become the first-ever eighth seed in tournament history to knock off a top seed, 60-54, over Tufts. First-year Selena Lorrey scored 11 points off the bench, while sophomore Sara Binkhorst added 10.
Though she was limited to just nine points on Saturday, guard Kaitlin Donahoe has proven to be Bowdoin's most dangerous offensive threat. The senior has drained 40 three-pointers on her way to a league-best 15.4 points per game. She has also accumulated team highs of 77 assists and 31 steals. The Polar Bears have more NESCAC titles to their credit than any other league team. In the 13 year history of the tournament, they have reached the final nine times and posted an impressive 29-4 mark. Bowdoin was dominant in the early years, capturing the first seven NESCAC championships from 2001-07. The Polar Bears added one more title in 2009.
In five previous tournament meetings between the programs, Bowdoin owns a 3-2 advantage. Three of those matchups came in the conference finals. Amherst won this year's regular season contest 74-58 on January 18.
For a complete preview of the NESCAC Women's Basketball tournament, visit www.nescac.com