BRUNSWICK, Maine – Taylor Choate tied a school record with 38 points to rally the Bowdoin College women's basketball team past Smith, 87-78, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship Saturday evening.
The Polar Bears (28-1) advance to the third round of the tournament next Friday where they will play New Paltz State at a location to be determined. Complete information about next weekend's sectional will be announced on Sunday. Smith ends a fantastic season with a record of 22-7.
- Back and forth action from tip-off, as the first quarter saw eight different lead changes.
- Kennedy Guest-Pritchett was dominating the post early on for Smith, as she was able to score eight points down low in the first, while also adding three rebounds.
- Abby Kelly was able to finish a tough driving layup as time was expiring in the first quarter, giving Bowdoin a 20-18 lead after one.
- The Polar Bears went on a quick 11-2 run midway through the second quarter as Taylor Choate caught fire with nine of those 11 points, going 3-of-3 from behind the arc.
- The Pioneers answered with a run of their own, finishing the half on a 12-1 surge, re-taking the lead and going up 41-36 over the Polar Bears. Lauren Bondi sparked the swing for Smith, totaling eight points in the run, all coming on tough driving floaters near the hoop.
- The third quarter picked up right where these teams left off in the first half as the back and forth scoring continued. Hannah Graham hit a three as she was knocked down, cutting the Smith lead to 43-39. Katy McClellan answered with a driving layup, pushing the Pioneers' lead to 45-39.
- The Polar Bears came back down the floor and Choate remained on fire, hitting another shot from deep, making the score 45-43 in favor of Smith. McClellan made a difficult and-one layup with 7:55 remaining in the third
- The Pioneers rode seven points from McClellan to take a 64-56 lead heading into the final period.
- With their season on the line, Abby Kelly sparked a 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter for Bowdoin, giving the hosts their first lead since early in the second quarter. Kelly tallied eight straight points that took the Polar Bears from six down to two ahead, 66-64, with 7:40 remaining.
- Taylor Choate carried the Polar Bears across the finish line, scoring 15 points down the stretch, including consecutive three-pointers that shook Morrell Gymnasium with under four minutes remaining.
- Bowdoin outscored Smith 31-14 in the period to pull away for the nine-point victory.
By The Numbers
- Taylor Choate tied two Bowdoin school records in this game with points (38, Amy Harper in 1983 vs. St. Joseph's) and three-pointers made (7, Sara Binkhorst and Lauren Petit).
- Abby Kelly pitched in 19 points for the Polar Bears, including eight big points in the fourth quarter. Hannah Graham also finished in double figures with 10 points.
- Kennedy Guest-Pritchett was the team-high scorer for Smith with 26 points, while adding eight rebounds.
- Lauren Bondi tacked on 21 points for the Pioneers.
- Smith was scorching hot from the field in the second quarter, shooting 11-of-14 (78.6%) helping them to a 41-36 lead at the half. Smith finished the game shooting 54.1%.
- The Polar Bears shot 50% from the floor, including 10 made three-pointers in the game.
- Bowdoin out-rebounded Smith by a total of 38 to 25.
- Bowdoin closed out the game with clutch free throws, making 11-of-12 in the fourth quarter to ensure the win.
- Bowdoin will face New Paltz St. on Friday in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Sites and game times will be announced on Sunday.