Bowdoin wins back-and-forth affair
Win pushes Bowdoin to second round for 11th consecutive year
BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin used a balanced attack to defeat Salve Regina 74-64 in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening at Morrell Gymnasium. The Polar Bears (23-5) advanced to the second round on Saturday where they will face Mount Saint Mary at 7 p.m. Salve Regina ends its season with a record of 25-4.
Nicole Coombes paced the Polar Bears with 16 points and five boards off the bench while Kaitlin Donahoe posted 13 points, nine assists and seven caroms. Amy Hackett and Colleen Sweeney each had 13 points and Alex Barry chipped in 10 points and 10 boards for the hosts.
Erin Phillips led all scorers with 22 points and eight rebounds for Salve Regina. The Seahawks also received 15 points off the bench from Lindsay Shorey.
Neither team could pull away in a back-and-forth opening half. Phillips kept Salve Regina close with 11 first-half points, but Bowdoin was able to use a 7-2 run over the final four minutes of the period to take a 31-25 edge at halftime.
The Polar Bears took command early in the second period, opening the half on a 14-4 run, including a trio of 3-pointers from Hackett. Sweeney nailed a trifecta from the top of the key with 16:09 remaining to give Bowdoin a 45-29 lead and force a Seahawk timeout. The Polar Bears pushed their lead to as many as 22 points on two occasions before Salve chipped away late to draw within 10 points at the buzzer.
Bowdoin has now won at least one tournament game in each of the last 11 seasons, the longest streak in Division III basketball. The Polar Bears improve to 14-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games at Morrell Gymnasium. Donahoe's nine assists tied a Bowdoin NCAA Tournament record, equaling the nine assists of Katie Bergeron against Western Connecticut in the 2010 Tournament.
Saturday's meeting will be the first-ever between Mount Saint Mary and Bowdoin. The Knights will be looking for their first Sweet 16 berth in school history while the Polar Bears will be looking to advance to the Sweet 16 for the ninth time.