Shannon Brady ’16 scored 14 second-half points to lead the women’s basketball team to a 62-57 win over Colby last Saturday, their 14th straight win of the season and seven straight against the Mules. Brady struggled early with foul trouble and Colby’s quick five-guard lineup but overcame the slow start to finish with 18 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes.
“One thing I really want to emphasize is her growth as a leader,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “She has an optimism and a competitive spirit. She really didn’t play exceptionally well. Her shots weren’t falling, Colby was being very physical with her, and she got into foul trouble. But I told her to keep shooting and she made adjustments.”

Brady is averaging 13 points, six rebounds, and 1.5 blocks and 23 minutes per game this season—a low minutes total thanks to the team’s considerable depth. According to Shibles, Brady could go all 40 minutes easily. Brady is also fourth in the NESCAC in shooting percentage.
Six feet tall and long-limbed, Brady has always been a traditional back-to-basket player, feeling most comfortable posting up and using a righty jump hook that has become her signature move. In a college game that typically differentiates only between guards and forwards, Brady is one of few at this level that could be considered a true center.

“The hook has kind of been my thing since high school,” she said. “I don’t really know what started it. Sometimes people say stuff like, ‘That’s all she does.’ But it works.”

Brady has been in the starting lineup since the beginning of her first year at Bowdoin, and had a breakout sophomore season that saw her average a team-leading 14 points and seven rebounds on the way to an All-American Honorable Mention. Since then she has been a target of other NESCAC teams, who often double and triple team Bowdoin’s most consistent scorer.
Brady is equally effective, somewhat paradoxically, as a target in transition. Her high school team ran an aggressive transition offense and the Polar Bears like to run one as well. Teammates have mentioned that Brady is often the fastest down the floor.

“A lot of the offense revolves around her,” said guard Sara Binkhorst ’15. “She plays well with other guards who like to push and she’ll beat pretty much any other post player down the floor.”

“She’s the fastest girl on our team,” Megan Phelps ’15 said. “She beats us all when we run sprints.”

Brady’s scoring threat dramatically affects the way defenses shift against Bowdoin.
“Just having Shannon on the floor is good for us as a team,” said Siena Mitman ’15. “They have to collapse on her coming off a screen which opens it up for other people.”      

“And on the rare chance she misses, there’s a good chance she’ll get her own rebound,” Binkhorst added.

Both players also noted Brady’s improvements at reading double teams and kicking the ball out. Still, Phelps thinks that Brady is going to score at least 70 percent of the time when she gets the ball.

“She’s always up for a physical game,” Phelps said. “They’re bringing constant double teams. She’s been doing a good job passing out of it, but more often scoring the ball anyway.”

Another area where Brady has improved is her shooting. Always considered a capable but not necessarily confident shooter, Brady has developed a face-up game and improved her in-game range to around 15 feet. She has also proven she can make three-pointers consistently in practice. Her goal now is to translate that into a game.

“It comes up a lot,” she said. “My dad and brother have bets on when it’s going to happen. I tell them if I’m in a pressure situation and it needs to happen, it will happen. But I definitely want to make one in a game during my Bowdoin career.”

The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.