ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Bowdoin College women's basketball team overwhelmed Wartburg, 90-62, in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championship on Friday evening.
The Polar Bears (29-2) advance to the Division III Championship game for the second time in school history where they will face conference foe Amherst (32-0) in the title match at 7:30 CT/8:30 ET on Saturday evening at the Mayo Civic Center. Wartburg loses their first game of the season and ends their year at 31-1
- Bowdoin took control from the opening tip as Kate Kerrigan dashed in for a game-opening hoop off the tip-off, sparking a 7-3 run for the Polar Bears.
- Wartburg closed to within 7-6, but Bowdoin's Cordelia Stewart put home a three-point play to regain the four-point lead at 10-6 midway through the opening frame.
- From there, Abby Kelly took complete command of the game, knocking down consecutive three-pointers to help Bowdoin build a commanding 28-12 lead after the first period.
- Bowdoin shot 12-22 (54.4%) in the first quarter.
- Kelly continued to roll in the second quarter, connecting on 3-4 from long distance and 5-6 overall from the field.
- The Knights were able to stay within striking distance thanks to five free throws as the Polar Bears did not attempt a single free throw in the second quarter and carried a 46-31 lead into halftime.
- Wartburg gave Bowdoin their best shot in the opening minutes of the third quarter, opening the period on a 7-2 surge to cut the Polar Bear lead to 10 points, 48-38, with 7:46 left in the stanza.
- Bowdoin proved unfazed and responded with a 12-0 run, featuring five points from Maddie Hasson, to push the lead to 22 points, 62-40, with 4:30 to go in the third.
- The Polar Bears increased their lead to 72-49 entering the fourth quarter.
- Sitting on 999 points entering the fourth quarter, senior and WBCA Division III Player of the Year Kate Kerrigan delivered the knockout blow, cashing in a three-pointer from the baseline with 7:45 to go, giving the Polar Bears an insurmountable 75-51 lead and becoming the 14th player in Bowdoin women's basketball to surpass 1,000 career points.
By The Numbers
- Abby Kelly had 19 first-half points and ended with 23 for the game, including five three-pointers.
- Lauren Petit had 16 points, including four three-pointers, while Taylor Choate added 12 points and three steals.
- Kate Kerrigan recorded a double-double with 11 points, 12 boards and six assists.
- Katie Sommer led Wartburg with 16 points, five assists and four steals.
- Bowdoin finished at 49.3% shooting for the game, with a 10-25 (40%) effort from three-point range. Wartburg connected on just 39% of their shots.
- Wartburg took 25 free throws, but made only 16, while Bowdoin went a perfect 12-12 from the charity stripe.
- Bowdoin owned a 40-30 edge in rebounding and cashed in for 30 points off 21 Wartburg turnovers.
- Bowdoin's bench also recorded a 38-16 scoring advantage.
- Saturday will be the second meeting of the season between Amherst and Bowdoin. The Mammoths took a 49-45 win in the regular season match between the teams on January 27.
- It will be the second consecutive all-NESCAC NCAA Championship game as Amherst defeated Tufts in last year's final.
- Amherst will be looking to repeat as NCAA Champions while the Polar Bears will be looking for the program's first national championship. Bowdoin fell to Wilmington (OH) in their only other NCAA title game appearance in 2004.
- Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET. A live webcast will be available at NCAA.com/liveschedule