The women's basketball team has started the season with an impressive 3-1 record, most recently defeating the University of Southern Maine (USM) Huskies 63-51. The Polar Bears will face their most difficult match-up yet on Saturday when they tip off against Colby.

Head coach Adrienne Shibles attributed the victory over USM to the women's self-assurance after the Huskies opened with a five-point lead in the first period.

"USM is...a dangerous team," said Shibles. "They made some runs at us and I was really happy with how we kept our composure and maintained our poise at the end."

Senior captain Katie Bergeron, Jill Henrikson '12 and Alexa Barry '12 were the team's top scorers. They wracked up 18, 18 and 12 points, respectively.

Henrikson, returning to the team after a season lost to injuries, began an 11-0 run for the team in the first half with a three-pointer, bringing the Polar Bears to a 29-23 lead at the break.

Barry pushed the score to 47-34 midway through the second half, and Bergeron scored seven points in the closing minutes to seal the win.

The Polar Bears played USM coming off of a decisive victory against the University of New England (UNE) 82-55.

"The UNE game was our best performance to date," said Shibles. "We shot the ball incredibly well."

Bergeron led the team with 21 points and was named NESCAC Player of the Week.

The Polar Bears took an early 11-0 lead, with Bergeron scoring the game's first five points. Henrikson '12 and Nicole Coombes '12 scored 14 points apiece to support Bergeron.

Henrikson scored 11 of her points after the break, and Coombes made all six of her free throw attempts. Colleen Sweeney '11 had a game-best nine boards.

Bergeron and Ellery Gould '12 tallied 10 and nine points, respectively, by the nine-minute mark. Bowdoin then opened the second half with a 10-3 run to lead 56-27.

Barry also had big plays down the stretch, finishing the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"Defensively, I felt like it was a near flawless performance," said Shibles. "We really had very consistent focus and attention for the whole game. It was a nice team effort all around."

The victory came following a disappointing 66-62 loss to Manhattanville College in the Salem Street Tip-Off Tournament.

However, The Polar Bears came back to defeat Lesley College 89-45 in the consolation game of the tournament.

The team will look to improve their record when they face the Colby College Mules tomorrow. The Polar Bears fell to the Mules in the NESCAC conference playoffs last year, and Shibles said the game will be a true test of the team.

"I think it will be a tough game, but I know the women are really looking forward to it," said Shibles.