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Women’s basketball defeats Tufts 78–60 in NESCAC quarterfinal

February 23, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
FIWB: Sydney Jones ’25 shoots off a three-pointer against Tufts University in the NESCAC quarterfinal. The women’s basketball team is hosting the NESCAC semifinals this weekend in Morrell Gymnasium.

Last Saturday, the women’s basketball team (23–2; 9–1 NESCAC) defeated Tufts University (11–13: 3–7 NESCAC) 78–60 in the first round of the NESCAC  tournament. The Polar Bears are the top seed and will host the NESCAC semifinals against fourth-seeded Middlebury College (17–8; 7–3 NESCAC) tomorrow at 2 p.m.  in Morrell Gym. If they win, Bowdoin will play the winner of No. 2 Trinity College (19–6; 8–2 NESCAC) and No. 3 Bates College (21–4; 8–2 NESCAC). The final will tip off at noon on Sunday. This is the first time Bowdoin has hosted the NESCAC championships since 2019.

Tufts was last year’s NESCAC champion and defeated Bowdoin in the quarterfinals but are seeded eighth this season. Bowdoin’s win against Tufts last weekend gave the Polar Bears confidence, especially since the Jumbos beat Middlebury by three points earlier this season.

Three minutes into Saturday’s game, Sydney Jones ’25 became the 20th Polar Bear in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark. Jones registered a game-high of 25 points in addition to ten boards and five assists with no turnovers.

Jones praised the game plan that Head Coach Megan Phelps gave the team, matching its defensive threats to Tufts’s offense.

The team started out fast against Tufts, riding a 14–0 run to get out to an 18–4 lead. Megan Tan ’23, who finished the game with 11 points and had six rebounds, highlighted this fast start as the key to victory.

“Even though Tufts is a really talented team, we can still come out strong. We’re emphasizing no complacency and having a killer instinct. We had a good first half of basketball, got a really comfortable lead and maintained it throughout. We’re at our peak right now,” Tan said.

Tan emphasized that the team is working to maintain a balance between having pride for its efforts and striving for more. Tan added that she was very pleased with how close the players have become, especially as younger players continue to develop their skills.

“There is so much trust and respect that is established that allows us to hold each other accountable,” Tan said. “If your team culture doesn’t emphasize strong dynamics, it’s hard to improve without that trust.”

Jones agreed with Tan about the strong friendships the team has fostered.

“We’ve created a really good group leadership system where we all have a say and can interact with each other as equals on and off the court. We do absolutely everything together and it doesn’t feel forced. Our culture is very evident when you watch us play or see us on the bench or in practice,” Jones said.

In the team’s first matchup against Middlebury, forward Jess Giorgio ’23 was out with an injury. Abbie Quinn ’27 expects her to have a big impact this weekend.

“We’re excited to have her back. Her rebounding abilities and leadership presence are a great addition to the team,” Quinn said.

Jones is excited to experience the energy in Morrell Gym.

“I’m just excited to play a basketball game with a bunch of my best friends in that atmosphere. Taking it one game at a time is what’s really going to push us through,” Jones said.


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