Women's Hoops Wins at Bowdoin for First Time Ever, 72-63

Caroline Stedman had 21 points, six rebounds, five
assists, and three steals in the win at Bowdoin.

From a Bowdoin College release

BRUNSWICK, ME - The 2nd-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team picked up a 72-63 win over Bowdoin College this evening to mark the Lord Jeffs' first-ever win on the Polar Bears' home court. The Jeffs improve to 18-0 (4-0 NESCAC) on the year, matching program records for best start and longest winning streak in the effort. Heading into the contest with an 0-9 all-time record at Bowdoin, the Lord Jeffs finally broke through against the Polar Bears in what has become one of the best rivalries in the NESCAC in recent years.

Amherst had to hold off a furious second-half rally to defeat 18th-ranked Bowdoin at Morrell Gymnasium, as Friday night marked the smallest margin of victory this season for the Jeffs. The Polar Bears, who had won two straight over Amherst and own a 17-5 lead in the all-time series, fall to 14-4 (1-3 NESCAC) with the loss.

The visitors carried a 10-point lead into halftime thanks to a barrage of three-point shots in the opening stanza. The Jeffs netted six triples, including three from Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA), to take a 34-24 lead into the break.

Amherst quickly extended its lead to 21 points with a 14-3 surge out of the break and, after consecutive three-pointers from Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ) and Stedman, led 48-27 with 14:45 remaining. A hoop-and-harm from Bowdoin’s Katie Bergeron sparked a huge Bowdoin run, however, as the Polar Bears clawed back into the game with a 16-4 spurt. When Nicole Coombes and Amy Hackett knocked down back-to-back shots for the hosts with under nine minutes to play, Bowdoin had trimmed the lead to 57-48 with 8:30 left.

After trading buckets for the next five minutes, the Polar Bears were able to cut the lead to eight points at 65-57. Bowdoin appeared to have made it a five-point game after a three-pointer from Bergeron with 3:30 to play, but the Polar Bears were called for an offensive foul on the play and the basket was waved off, maintaining the Jeffs’ eight-point edge. Amherst took advantage and responded with a quick 7-0 surge, with five points coming courtesy of Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY), to seal the win.

Stedman led all scorers with a career-high 21 points and added six rebounds, five assists and three steals for Amherst. Voigt (14), Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) (12) and Finucane (13) also saw double figures for the Jeffs. Bowdoin was led by 20 points from Bergeron and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Leah Rubega, who became the 10th player in program history to surpass 600 rebounds for her career. Kaitlin Donahoe pitched in 10 points for the Polar Bears off the bench.

Amherst had lost their last two meetings against the Polar Bears, including the 2009 NESCAC Championship title game. Amherst will head to Colby tomorrow afternoon to try and set program records for consecutive wins and best start to a season.