Polar Bears continue record-breaking season
With only tomorrow's game against Colby left in regular season play, the Bowdoin Women's Basketball Team is still at the top of its game and at the top of its league.
Bowdoin went 3-0 for the week, beating Tufts away 58-45 on Friday, Bates 56-46 in Lewiston on Saturday, and Maine-Farmington 78-48 at home on Monday.
Against Maine-Farmington, the women were relentless on offense, scoring 12 points before their opponent put even one up on the scoreboard. By the end of the period, they had set a new school record with 56 points in one half.
"Maine-Farmington was a game that we had marked on our schedules because we lost to them last year," said senior captain Courtney Trotta. "We just wanted to play our game and not overlook them. We just tried to come out and play strong as a team, trusting that if we executed, we could come away with another win."
Last year's 67-65 loss to the Beavers was the last time the Polar Bears were handed a defeat in regular season play.
Senior captain Lora Trenkle was on fire and was by far the leading scorer with 20 points, all in the first half, hitting eight out of ten shots, four of which were three-pointers.
"Our first half of Farmington was impressive," said Head Coach Stefanie Pemper. "Our press was working, we were making great decisions offensively, and Lora was having one of those games where she couldn't miss."
Justine Pouravelis '06 had eight points, five assists, and tied a Bowdoin record with five blocked shots. Erika Nickerson '05 was the only other Bowdoin player besides Trenkle to hit in the double-digits with 12 points. The team out-rebounded Farmington 54-33, led by Laura Withey '06 who had a team high of seven.
The team had a tougher start against Bates, falling behind 6-0 but recovered by the end of the first half, riding a comfortable 25-16 lead.
"Bates's players are so athletic," said Trenkle, "and they compete well on every possession. We knew going into it that we had to bring our A game and compete with a level of intensity that was superior to theirs."
In what Pemper described as a "classic with the Bobcats," the team held its opponents to seven for 27 shooting in the first period while Pouravelis clenched the school record for blocks with four in the game and 55 total so far for the season. Trenkle had 20 points, but it was Eileen Flaherty '07 who led the team with 22.
"Great crowd, lots of intensity and athleticism, and good basketball," said Pemper of the game. "Lora and Eileen hit some huge shots, and Eileen made big plays on both ends that just seemed to come at the right times."
In Tufts's first home defeat of the season, Bowdoin led by 11 early in the first period and was up 29-25 at the half. At the start of the second half, Tufts brought the lead down to five, but Bowdoin went on a run that put the game away.
Bowdoin kept Tufts's shooting percentage below 30 percent and dominated the boards. Trenkle had 13 points while Pouravelis contributed six and had ten rebounds. Vanessa Russell '06 had eight and Lindsay Bramwell '04 threw in six.
As regular season play dwindles down and post-season competition heats up, Pemper is focused on keeping the team's game at a high performance level.
"My hope as the season continues is for more of our players to be playing their best basketball of the year," said Pemper. "This is the time to peak in terms of maturity, understanding, and chemistry. Practices have to stay sharp and intense, and players have to have a hunger and determination. In a postseason game, every minute you're on the court you want to be positively impacting something for our team. It's an exciting time of year."
The team takes on Colby at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow at home and is looking to ending the regular season with a strong finish.
"NESCACs are rounding the corner," said Trenkle, "and I think we will have accomplished our first goal as a team, that being to finish in the top four of NESCACs. So far things are looking good."
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