SALEM, Va. – The Bowdoin College women's basketball team came up just short in its chase for its first national championship, dropping an 81-67 decision to Thomas More in the NCAA Division III Championship game on Saturday evening.
It was the second straight loss in the title game for the Polar Bears, who finish with a school record 31 wins and end the year at 31-2. Thomas More completes an unbeaten season with a record of 33-0.
- A back and forth first quarter saw the Polar Bears hold a 19-16 lead thanks to 50% shooting from the field. Hannah Graham had seven early points for Bowdoin.
- The Polar Bears opened the second quarter on a 6-2 surge, extending their lead to as many as six points, 24-18, just minutes into the frame.
- Thomas More took advantage of some Bowdoin turnovers and answered with a 12-0 run, taking a 30-24 lead on an Emily Schultz lay-in with 5:26 to go in the second period.
- Bowdoin stemmed the tide with a three-pointer from Abby Kelly and trailed by just four points, 38-34, at the break.
- The Saints came out of the half with an 11-2 run, sparked by a three-pointer from Briana McNutt to push the lead to double figures, 49-36 with 6:13 to go in the quarter.
- Bowdoin warmed from the field late in the frame, getting a three-pointer from Samantha Roy and closing to within five points on a pair of Maddie Hasson free throws later in the third period.
- A jumper at the buzzer for Thomas More pushed the lead back to seven points, 57-50, entering the fourth quarter.
- Thomas More pushed the lead back to ten points early in the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Kaela Saner.
- Bowdoin mounted a rally to cut it to eight, and had two possessions to cut into the lead further, but a layup rimmed out and a three-pointer rattled around the rim.
- Madison Temple replied with a three-pointer for Thomas More, pushing the lead back to double figures, 67-56, with 5:49 to go.
- The Polar Bears couldn't find their footing after that as Thomas More outscored Bowdoin 24-17 in the final quarter to seal the win.
By The Numbers
- Abby Kelly closed out her Bowdoin career with a heroic performance, scoring a game-high 27 points on 10-17 shooting including four three-pointers.
- Bowdoin finished at 42% from the field while Thomas More ended at 46% from the field. The difference was the Saints' ability to turn 17 Bowdoin turnovers into 31 points.
- Hannah Graham had 14 and Maddie Hasson posted 12 with six boards for the Polar Bears.
- Thomas More had all five starters in double digits, led by 20 points from Kaela Saner.
- Abby Kelly was named as Bowdoin's All-Tournament team member.