Amherst Escapes Bowdoin with 61-60 Win to Move to Sectional Rounds

The Amherst women's basketball team has plenty to
celebrate as they head to the Sweet 16 for the
first time in program history.

Courtesy of Bridgewater State

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior guard Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) poured in a game- and career-high 23 points as the Amherst Lord Jeffs advance to the Sectional round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 61-60 victory over Bowdoin College this evening from the Tinsley Center in Bridgewater.

Amherst (27-2), which is making its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, will take on the winner of the Washington St. Louis-Depauw game which is currently in progress. The national sectionals will start next week on March 14-15 at a site to be determined.

The Polar Bears (19-9) end the season after having been to the last eight NCAA Tournaments and nine of the last ten.

Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) hit what proved to be the winning three-point shot with 48.5 seconds which broke a 58-58 tie. Bowdoin cut the deficit to 61-60 by junior forward Jill Anelauskas (Medfield, MA) with 40.4 ticks left to go. The Polar Bears had two opportunities to win the game. Their first attempt was blocked and after Amherst missed the front end of a 1-and-1opportunity with 9.7 ticks left, Bowdoin had another chance. Following a time-out with 9 seconds left, a running jump-shot at the buzzer missed the mark.

Bowdoin took a 32-26 advantage into halftime and then held its largest lead of the game at 43-35 with 17 minutes to go. Amherst went on a 12-3 run over the next 5½ minutes to jump ahead 47-46. The Lord Jeff’s built their lead to 54-50 at the 7 minute mark on a three-point basket by freshman guard Courtney Long (Norwich, CT). Bowdoin responded with four unanswered free throws to tie the game up at 54-54. The game would stay tied at 58-58 to set the stage for Otieno’s heroics.

Amherst was also led by senior forward Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) added 10 points while junior Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, with 5 coming off the offensive glass. Pollack also dished out a game-high 5 assists.

For Bowdoin, junior forward Alexa Kaubris (Rumford, ME) paced the Polar Bears with 14 points converting all eight of her free-throw attempts. Bowdoin was actually outstanding at the charity stripe connecting on 25 of 27 (97%) free-throw attempts.

Junior guard Maria Noucas (Portsmouth, NH) tallied 12 points and 6 rebounds while Colleen Sweeney (Danbury, CT) added 10 points and all eight of her free-throw attempts. Anelauskas also ended the game with 8 points and 8 rebounds.

Amherst held a slight 37-33 edge on the boards, but were outstanding on the offensive glass pulling down an impressive 16 rebounds as opposed to 4 for Bowdoin.

After shooting just 26% from the floor in the first half, the Lord Jeff’s responded by connecting on 15-for-33 (46%) field goal attempts in the second stanza. On the other hand, Bowdoin shot 47% in the first half of play and then shot at just a 30% (6-for-20) clip from the field in the second half.