Bowdoin advances behind timely shots
Polar Bears hit 16 of 18 at stripe to seal another sectional bid
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Ellery Gould hit the go-ahead bucket with 34 seconds remaining to propel Bowdoin to the third round of the Division III women's basketball tournament in a 55-51 win at Ithaca on Saturday.
Jill Henrikson scored 18 points and Gould finished with 11 for the Polar Bears (21-7), who return to the round of 16 for the third consecutive year and 10th time in the last 12 seasons.
Ithaca ends its season with a record of 24-5.
Both teams struggled from the field in the early going. Despite the Bombers missing 18 of their first 19 shots, the Polar Bears could not increase their lead to more than six in the opening half. The Polar Bears held Ithaca without a basket for 11:33 but scored just 10 points of their own in that span.
Ithaca rallied to take a 14-13 lead with 4:21 to go in the half on a jumper by sophomore guard Mary Kate Tierney. The rest of the half saw three more lead changes as Bowdoin took a 22-20 edge into intermission.
Both squads found their footing in the second half and the teams traded blows until a three-point play by Tierney gave the Bombers their biggest lead 42-38 with 6:36 remaining. But Henrikson scored seven consecutive points for the Polar Bears, including her lone 3-pointer of the game, to draw her team even at 45-45 with 4:46 to go.
Bowdoin appeared to have the game put away after a 6-0 run, keyed by an Alexa Barry three-point play gave them a 51-45 edge with 2:27 remaining. But the Bombers rallied with a 6-0 run of their own highlighted by a Jenn Escobido jumper and tied the game for the 10th time at 51-51 with just 45 seconds remaining.
Henrikson drove the baseline for a running lay-in that came to the waiting hands of Gould on the weak side of the rim. Gould put the second chance to good use by rattling home the put-back with 34 ticks left to give Bowdoin a 53-51 edge. Devin Shea missed a jumper on the other end for Ithaca and Gould grabbed another clutch board. The senior sealed the win with a pair of free throws with under 15 seconds left.
Bowdoin was out-rebounded 43-31 and surrendered 16 offensive rebounds to Ithaca, but held the Bombers to just 33.9 shooting for the game. The Polar Bears connected on just 37.5 percent from the field, but nailed 16 of 18 free throws.
Henrikson hit 9 of 11 from the charity stripe for her game-high 18 points to go with three assists and three steals. Gould had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Allie Piscina pitched in nine points off the bench for Bowdoin.
Shea led Ithaca with 14 points. Kathryn Campbell had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bombers.
Bowdoin improved to 3-0 all-time against Ithaca in the team's first meeting in NCAA tournament play.