After the excitement of last week's NESCAC tournament, this weekend the women's basketball team's attention shifts to the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Bowdoin will host the first two rounds, and the Polar Bears are set to face Salve Regina in their first game.

The Polar Bears are currently ranked third in the NESCAC conference with a season record of 22-5. Salve Regina is first in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, with a record of 25-3.

The women, though nervous for the upcoming games and hoping to continue their season, are excited at the opportunity.

"I think everyone is really excited and really appreciative at the opportunity of hosting the first two rounds this weekend," senior captain Katie Bergeron said. "After a tough loss against Amherst, we feel lucky to have the chance to play again, especially in our home gym."

Last Sunday's final NESCAC game against Amherst was brutal, and the women were beaten by an overall score of 72-37.

Bergeron made a solid effort in the first half, leading Bowdoin's scoring with 10 points. But she was shut out the second half, scoring only two more points, for an unusually low game total of 12. Nicole Coombes also played well for the Polar Bears, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds, a team high.

However, the Polar Bears made only one of nine shots from the three-point range, had 20 turnovers and their final score was their the lowest all season.

Amherst broke out early with a pair of three-pointers, easily bringing their early lead to 10 and shutting out the Polar Bears. At halftime, Bowdoin trailed with a score of 34-16, and the second half provided no respite.

Amherst continued its strong play with a 13-4 run that set the Polar Bears even further back. The Polar Bears never minimized the Lord Jeffs' lead by less than 26, and the game went easily to Amherst.

Fresh off an exciting Colby game, this loss was hard on the Bowdoin women. However, they were nonetheless pleased with Saturday and Sunday's performance.

"I was very pleased with the way that we played in the Colby game," said coach Adrienne Shibles. "We defended their perimeter players exceptionally well, and this pressure helped keep the ball out of the hands of their posts."

The women carried those thoughts into the semifinals of the tournament, solidly beating the mules with a final score of 79-63. Bergeron scored a NESCAC Tournament record of 29 points, and the Polar Bears cruised to the win.

"Katie Bergeron exhibited solid leadership in that game, and Amy Hackett '12 came off the bench to make a big impact," Shibles continued.

This is the third time Bowdoin has defeated their Maine rival, snapping Colby's eight-game winning streak. Bergeron led the game with 16 points before intermission, giving a score of 38-26. It was all downhill after that.

Colby made a comeback with eight minutes left to go, narrowing the gap to just 10 with a score of 57-47. But the Bowdoin women were having none of it, as they came right back with a 7-0 run.

Hackett had 14 points for Bowdoin, and Kaitlin Donahoe '13 scored 11.