The women's basketball team secured an at-large bid into the D-III NCAA regional tournament and will be a host site for the tournament this weekend. The Polar Bears will face the Baruch College Bearcats in the first round of the tournament tonight.

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to host the first round of the tournament," said Coach Adrienne Shibles. "It speaks to the strength of our schedule and the work that these women have done this season. I am so pleased that our seniors will have another chance to play in front of our fans."

On Saturday, the Polar Bears fell to the Colby Mules in the NESCAC semifinals, 75-64. The teams were neck-and-neck for much of the first half, and neither team was able to pull away by more than 4 points. In the final minutes before intermission, the Mules began to pull away and they ended the half with a 10-point lead.

Colby returned from the break still shooting strong and outscored Bowdoin 14-6 in the first 7:17 minutes of the half. The Polar Bears struggled to close the gap throughout the half, but never managed to whittle the Mules' lead to less than 9 points.

Top scorers for Bowdoin were Amy Hackett '12 with 18 points and Caitlin Hynes '10, with 14 points. Saturday's defeat meant that the Polar Bears lost their shot at the NESCAC conference championship. Amherst College claimed the NESCAC title over Colby on Sunday, 69-54.

Shibles spoke of the team's disappointment following the semifinal game.

"We did not shoot well versus Colby and the Mules hit some tough shots, particularly in the first half," she said. "It was disappointing to have that sort of shooting performance in the semifinal game and to miss out on the chance at another conference championship."

In addition to Bowdoin, Colby, Tufts and Williams were also among the members of the NESCAC conference to gain at-large bids into the NCAA tournament. Amherst was granted automatic entrance as conference champions. The five total bids are the most in the history of the NESCAC conference.

The Polar Bears will face Baruch in the first round of the tournament on Friday night in Morrell Gymnasium.

"Baruch is a very athletic team with some seasoned leadership," said Shibles. "They have performed well against some very good teams."

Should Bowdoin win Friday night, the Polar Bears will face either Western Connecticut College or the University of New England in the second round Saturday evening at 7 p.m.