MEDFORD, Mass. – For a record ninth time, the Bowdoin College women's basketball team won the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship, defeating top-ranked and undefeated Tufts on Sunday, 70-60.
The fourth-ranked Polar Bears (25-2) win the title for the first time since 2009 and avenge a regular season loss to the Jumbos (26-1) as well as a defeat at the hands of Tufts in last year's NESCAC championship game. With the victory, Bowdoin secures an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be revealed on Monday at 2:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
- Despite the game being tight throughout, the Polar Bears never trailed in knocking off one of the final two unbeaten teams in Division III women's basketball.
- The Polar Bears came out hot as a pair of Maddie Hasson layups sparked a game-opening 9-0 run for Bowdoin.
- Tufts clawed back into the contest thanks to 12 first-quarter points from Erica DeCandido, rallying to tie the game at 19 apiece following ten minutes of play.
- Bowdoin pulled ahead again in the second quarter, opening the frame on a 10-2 surge to push their lead to 29-21 on a Hasson layup midway through the period.
- The Polar Bears were able to maintain that eight-point cushion, 40-32, into halftime.
- Bowdoin pushed the lead to nine points early in the second half before Tufts stormed back into the contest. Eight points late in the frame from DeCandido led the charge for the hosts, as they trimmed the lead to just three points, 52-49, heading into the fourth.
- Sadie Otley tied the game with a three-pointer for Tufts just 18 seconds in the final period, but Bowdoin responded immediately with a bucket from Maddie Hasson and, after a defensive stop, a lay-in by Samantha Roy to spark an 8-2 spurt, giving the Polar Bears a 60-54 edge with under four minutes remaining.
- Tufts' Sofia Rosa cut the lead to 60-56 with under three minutes on the clock and, after the Jumbos held Bowdoin scoreless on their next possession, had two chances to cut further into the lead.
- With 2:27 remaining Megan Tan grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed three-pointer by Cailin Harrington taht would have cut the lead to one, and Bowdoin cycled the ball to the wing where Sela Kay lined up her sixth three-pointer of the day, swishing it with 1:53 left and boosting Bowdoin's lead to an insurmountable seven points, 63-56.
- Senior Maddie Hasson sealed the win for the Polar Bears with six free throws in the final minute to give Bowdoin the crown.
By The Numbers
- For the second straight day Maddie Hasson posted a double-double, recording 24 points and 10 rebounds on 7-10 shooting from the field.
- Sela Kay was outstanding as well for the second day in a row, posting 18 points on six three-pointers to go with seven rebounds.
- Samantha Roy had nine points and four assists while Annie Maher pitched in eight points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Polar Bears.
- Erica DeCandido scored 27 points with 10 rebounds in the loss for Tufts.
- Bowdoin shot 45% for the game, including 52% (9-17) from three-point range. Tufts, who hit on 59% of their shots in the regular season meeting between the teams, was held to just 39% on Sunday.
- The Polar Bears dominated the glass, owning a 42-29 advantage and cashing in for 16 big second-chance points in the victory.
- With the win over Tufts, Bowdoin defeated the fifth-ranked (Amherst) and top-ranked teams in consecutive days and avenged their only two regular-season losses of the 2019-20 campaign.
- The NCAA selection show is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon on NCAA.com.