BRUNSWICK, Maine – For the second year in a row and third time in program history, the Bowdoin College women's basketball team advanced to the Division III "Final Four" with a 87-61 victory over Ithaca College in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears (30-1) tied a school record for victories (2004) and will play St. Thomas (Minn.) in the NCAA semifinals next Friday in Salem, Va. Thomas More and Scranton will play in the other semifinal. Game times will be announced Sunday. Ithaca ends a fantastic season with a record of 25-6.
- Bowdoin quickly went up 14-5 to begin the game, sparked by a Hannah Graham three-pointer.
- Ithaca was able to cut into the Bowdoin lead as Allie Tunick and Meghan Pickell connected from downtown in back-to-back possessions, trimming the lead to 14-11 late in the frame.
- Bowdoin closed the first quarter with a 22-15 edge, but the Bombers started the second period on a 7-4 surge, cutting the Polar Bear advantage to 26-22.
- Ithaca came within one point, 32-31, after a Meghan Mazzella layup with 3:19 left in the period, but Bowdoin stemmed the tide with another trifecta from Graham, and carried a 36-31 edge into the break.
- Despite being in foul trouble in the opening half, Ithaca was on fire from deep, connecting on 5-of-11 threes in the first twenty minutes.
- Bowdoin was having their way in the paint in the first half, scoring 18 points (half of their total points) down low, while also drawing contact to get to the line, converting on 10-of-14 first half free-throws.
- The Polar Bears took command in the third quarter, opening the half on a 10-2 run, capped by an Abby Kelly three-pointer and Taylor Choate hoop-and-harm, extending the lead to 13 points, 46-33.
- Ithaca never fully recovered from that run, and never got closer than nine points for the remainder of the game.
- Bowdoin poured it on in the fourth quarter, hitting on 60% from the field and outscoring Ithaca 28-12. The Polar Bears led by as many as 26 points on their way to the victory.
By The Numbers
- All five of Bowdoin starters scored in double figures, led by Taylor Choate, who scored 21 points with six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
- Abby Kelly added 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. Maddie Hasson posted her second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 11 caroms. Samantha Roy tacked on 13 points and five assists. Hannah Graham scored 10 points and secured five rebounds.
- Annie Giannone was the team-high scorer for Ithaca with 12 points. Cassidy O'Malley added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Bombers.
- Ithaca got a quality contribution from their bench in the game, providing 24 points.
- The Polar Bears dominated the glass, out-rebounding Ithaca by a total of 49-to-21 and scoring 12 second-chance points.
- The Polar Bears shot 31-of-66 (47%) for the contest while holding Ithaca to 23-of-55 (41.8%).
- Bowdoin will battle St. Thomas in the NCAA Semifinals next Friday in Salem, Va. Game time will be announced Sunday. The NCAA Championship site is available here.