BRUNSWICK, Maine – Sara Binkhorst scored a career high 23 points as the Bowdoin women's basketball team held on for a 64-59 win over University of New England on Tuesday evening in Morrell Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears remain unbeaten and improve to 5-0, while handing the Nor'easters (4-1) their first loss of the season. Bowdoin has not opened a season with five consecutive wins since the 2009-10 when the team went to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Binkhorst led both teams with 23 points, including a perfect 4-4 from the line and 3-4 from 3-point range. Shannon Brady tallied 17 points for the Polar Bears, while pulling down eight rebounds with a steal and block. Alanna Bose scored a team high 18 points for UNE with five rebounds and three assists. Both Sadie DiPierro and Kelly Coleman knocked down 11 points for the Nor'easters.
The two teams stayed within striking distance over the opening ten minutes of play, trading the lead three times. Sparked by a three from Binkhorst, Bowdoin stretched its lead to 16-10 with seven unanswered points. The Nor'easters began to chip away as they closed within two off a 3-pointer from Bose with 7:56 remaining. Bowdoin closed out the half with a 9-5 run over the final two minutes with Selena Lorrey and Binkhorst sinking three 3-point shots to send the Polar Bears into the half up 31-23.
Bowdoin stretched its lead to 38-26 under four minutes into the second half as Marle Curle and Brady each sank shots while Kirsten Prue dropped in a three. The Nor'easters answered with a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to close within two of the Polar Bears. Bowdoin led by as much as seven points, before UNE took the lead with 4:36 remaining, off a 3-pointer from DiPierro. Phelps evened the score at 54-54 off a two made free throws allowing the Polar Bears to pull away in the final minutes with a 10-5 run, capped by a pair of Binkhorst free throws.
Bowdoin shot 44% from the field, while the Nor'easters hit 35% of their shots. The Polar Bears held a 36-27 advantage on the boards, but allowed 25 points off 28 turnovers.
Bowdoin travels to the University of Southern Maine on December 3 for a 5:30 PM matchup between the in-state rivals.