Women’s basketball falls 55-51 in NESCAC quarterfinal
Sarah Barton ’08
Meg Coffin ’08
Matia Kostakis ’08
BRUNSWICK, Maine — Bowdoin College outscored rival Bates College 33-22 in the second half en route to a 55-51 win in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship Saturday at Bowdoin.
The Polar Bears (18-7), seeded fourth, stay unbeaten at 21-0 in the eight-year history of the tournament and move on to play at top seed Amherst in the semifinals next Saturday. Bates (15-10) will miss the NESCAC Championship semifinals for the first time.
Katie Bergeron scored 24 points, including a school-record six three-pointers out of nine attempts, to lift the Polar Bears. Alexa Kaubris added 13 points, including 11 in the second period.
Bates will miss the NESCAC Championship semifinals for the first time and has likely has finished the 2007-08 season at 15-10. Senior Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.) had an outstanding career finale with 20 points and 11 rebounds, standing as the only Bates player to score in double figures. Classmate and fellow co-captain Sarah Barton (Portsmouth, N.H.) added 8 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds, and senior Matia Kostakis (Andover, Mass.) recorded 9 rebounds to go with 5 points.
Bates went to Coffin early and often in the first half, and the result was a strong offensive flow. Coffin hit 5 of her 7 shots in the period, scoring 14 points to go with 5 rebounds, leading Bates to a 29-22 halftime advantage. Barton dished out four assists and committed no turnovers in 20 minutes of action, meawhile scoring five points.
Bergeron, meanwhile, dominated the Polar Bears’ attack in the first half, hitting 3 of 6 three-pointers en route to 14 points.
Coffin tied the game at 14 with 8:49 to play, starting a 9-1 Bates run that gave them a 23-15 lead with 4:17 left in the period. A three-pointer by Barton with 1:07 finished first-half scoring at 29-22.
The Bobcats forced 10 Bowdoin turnovers in the half and committed only five.
In the second half, Bowdoin shot 10-20 from the field and limited Bates to 7 field goals in 32 attempts in the period (.219). The Bobcats finished the game 17-for-59 from the floor for a .288 percentage, while Bowdoin finished with .415 shooting. The Bobcats recorded a 39-31 edge on the glass
Bowdoin picked up its overall offensive effort right from the start of the second half, with a Kaubris three-pointer narrowing the lead to 29-25.
Just when Bates seemed to flag for a moment, Coffin and Bowdoin’s Colleen Sweeney were tied up on a rebound at the 15:50 mark. Sweeney was called for the foul, and at the other end Beckwith found Kostakis with a deft interior pass for a layup, nudging the Bates lead back to 36-29.
Bergeron answered less than two minutes later with a three late in the shot clock and the Polar Bears closed the gap to 36-33, prompting a 30-second timeout called by Bates coach Jim Murphy.
But Bates got a pair of free throws from Coffin, and the senior center found sophomore Danielle Schaefers (Barrington, R.I.) for a short baseline jumper.
Bergeron struck again with a three from the right wing, cutting it to 40-36, and again a minute later from deeper in the right corner for her 24th point and her Bowdoin record-breaking sixth three-pointer of the game, cutting the lead to 42-39 at the 11:00 mark.
Bowdoin made two consecutive defensive stops and Amanda Leahy hit a jumper in the paint to close the gap to 44-43, and Kaubris nailed her second three-pointer of the game from the right wing on a Bergeron assist, giving Bowdoin its first lead since the 9:00 mark of the first half at 46-44, prompting another Bates timeout at the 7:51 mark.
Bates first-year guard Brittney French (Auburn, Maine) evened the score at 46 with her only two points on a jumper, but Kaubris answered with a slashing layup, bumping Bowdoin ahead again at 48-46. Kaubris added a free throw 11 seconds later to extend the lead to three.
Noucas drove into the lane, hesitated and hit a short jumper to make it 51-48 Bowdoin with 4:56 to play. Coffin was smothered at the other end by a pair of Polar Bears, and Noucas found Leahy in the post for another hoop to make it 53-48 with 3:56 remaining, and Murphy called a full timeout.
Neither team could add any points before Bowdoin coach Stefanie Pemper called another timeout with 1:43 left. Bates had missed five straight shots to that point and was on the way to 10 misses in a row.
Noucas drove and drew a foul by Bates sophomore Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H.) out of the timeout, but missed both free throws. Bates then failed to score after three straight offensive rebounds, and Goodridge’s underneath shot attempt was swatted by Kaubris. Noucas was fouled and hit both free throws to extend the lead to a game-high seven points, at 55-48 with 37 seconds left.
Barton hit a running three-pointer to cut it to 55-51 with 25 seconds remaining, but Bates could get no closer.