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Women’s basketball routs Amherst, claims first seed in NESCAC tournament

February 16, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
BIG BALLER BEARS: Callie Godfrey ’24 attempts a floater. The women’s basketball team will play Tufts in the NESCAC quarterfinal game tomorrow in Morrell Gym.

BRUNSWICK— If anyone is curious as to why polar bears are the Arctic’s apex predator and the mammoth has been extinct for four thousand years, the women’s basketball team offered a strong explanation during last Saturday’s 67–33 dismissal of Amherst (19–5; 6–4 NESCAC).

Led by a 32-point double-double from Sydney Jones ’25, Bowdoin’s (22–1; 9–1 NESCAC) senior day victory vaulted the Polar Bears to the top seed of the upcoming NESCAC tournament. Low-post tandem Jess Giorgio ’23 and Callie Godfrey ’25 added a combined 15 points and five rebounds apiece while Carly Davey ’26 added eight points of her own. Tomorrow, Bowdoin will play eighth-seeded Tufts University (11–12; 3–7 NESCAC) at 3 p.m. in Morrell Gymnasium. Bowdoin’s one-seed finish will likely also guarantee the Polar Bears a spot in the NCAA tournament later this year.

While Godfrey was surprised by the margin of victory, the forward relished the opportunity to celebrate a successful senior day.

“We all love our seniors so much and [Giorgio’s] birthday was yesterday, so what better way to honor them than with a win,” Godfrey said.

For Giorgio, Jones’s NESCAC Women’s Hoops Player of the Week performance was what she has come to expect from the wing.

“It was just another day in Sydney Jones’s world. She works the hardest of anyone I know. I think a lot of people see the way she contributes offensively on the floor, but what’s harder to see is the way that she elevates the play of everyone around her,” Giorgio said.

Giorgio, who sang the national anthem as a member of a cappella group Miscellania, scored the game’s first basket after Jones found her open in the low block. A Davey three-pointer, two Jones free throws and another three-point bucket from Maria Belardi ’26 gave Bowdoin an early 10-2 lead.

The second quarter got off to a scalding start when Giorgio—who, in her five years at the College, had only scored one career three-pointer—scored a high-arching corner three to bring her career total to two. In an afternoon of senior day festivities, a clinched one seed and a 34-point victory, Morrell was never louder than when Giorgio’s shot fell in.

At halftime, Bowdoin held a ten point lead after Jones finished from deep to cap the first-half scoring at 31–21.

Jones opened the second half scoring with back-to-back crafty finishes in the post. Coming out of an Amherst timeout, she tacked on two more layups and an and-one to stretch her scoring to nine in a row. After a pair of transition layups and a stepback three, Jones capped her scoring salvo at 16 straight.

For the second time in the third quarter, Amherst head coach G.P. Gromacki called a well-timed but ineffective timeout when Abbie Quinn ’27 stretched the lead to 26 points with just under four minutes in the quarter.

If anything, the Amherst timeout gave Bowdoin an advantage. Now with some rest, Jones picked up right where she left off. She grabbed a steal on Amherst’s first possession and finished on the fastbreak, leaving a herd of deflated and lethargic Mammoths in her wake. Jones scored once more in the quarter to cap her third-quarter scoring at 20 points.

The fourth quarter brought with it more of the same. A Megan Tan ’23 three-pointer opened the scoring for Bowdoin. A pair of Jones buckets pushed her total to 32, a point higher than the entire Amherst team—until a late layup gave the Mammoths the necessary 33 points to eclipse Jones.

With three minutes left in the game and a near-40 point lead, Bowdoin subbed off its seniors for the final time in the regular season. Jai Duval ’24 and Tan were met with a barrage of bear hugs on the bench before newfound three-point threat Giorgio, who was shooting free throws at the time, joined the pair shortly thereafter to even more hugs.

When the final buzzer sounded, Bowdoin’s victory—and its standing atop the NESCAC tournament seeding—was complete. Even if Amherst’s two-pointers had counted for four points and their three pointers as six, the Polar Bears still would have come out ahead.

“We are really excited to keep playing in Morrell,” Giorgio said. “If you haven’t been a Bowdoin women’s basketball fan to date, now’s a great time to become one.”


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