BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College women's basketball team will continue pursuit of its first NESCAC Championship since 2009 when they travel to play in the NESCAC Semifinals Saturday against Amherst College on the campus of Tufts University.
The third-seeded Polar Bears will battle the second-seeded Jeffs at 4 p.m. in the second semifinal contest. Top-seeded Tufts will play Trinity at 2 p.m. in the first semifinal. Advancing teams will square off for the conference championship on Sunday at noon with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Tickets for each day will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Streaming video will be available for all three games through the Northeast Sports Network (NSN) at nsnsports.net/NESCAC. Live statistics will also be available.
Amherst (23-2, 9-1 NESCAC) and Bowdoin (21-4, 7-3 NESCAC) will feature the NESCAC's top two offenses in a rematch of a 2013 semifinal game. Bowdoin cruised into this year's semifinals courtesy of a 71-46 win over sixth-seeded Williams on Saturday. Junior guard Sara Binkhorst led the charge, scoring 10 of her game-high 22 points during a 21-2 Polar Bear scoring surge to open the contest. She also dished out seven assists. Senior point guard Kirsten Prue directs a high-scoring offense that averages 70.0 points per game, and is undefeated when scoring 62 points or more. She has handed out a league-best 5.48 assists per game. Sophomore Shannon Brady ranks fourth in the NESCAC in scoring at 14.1 points, while Binkhorst sits in eighth at 13.2 points.
The Polar Bears have more NESCAC titles to their credit than any other team. In the 14-year history of the tournament, they have reached the final nine times and posted an impressive 29-5 mark. Bowdoin was dominant in the early years, capturing the first seven NESCAC championships from 2001-07 and adding another title in 2009.
Amherst punched its ticket into this year's semifinals with a 78-33 triumph over seventh-seeded Hamilton, which was making its first appearance in the NESCAC Tournament. Four starters reached double-digits, as first-years Ali Doswell and Hannah Peterson paved the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively. The potent Jeff offense that racks up 71.2 points on average has five players chipping in eight points or more with sophomore Marley Giddins posting a team-best 11.0 points per contest. Amherst also limits its opposition to 52.6 points.
In six prior tournament meetings between the programs, the series is deadlocked at 3-3 following Amherst's 60-45 semifinal win last year. Three of those matchups came in the conference finals. Amherst won this year's regular season contest, 65-57, on February 1.
For a complete preview of this weekend's championship, visit nescac.com.