With its record standing at a perfect 17-0 after two resounding wins against rivals Middlebury and Williams last weekend, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team is on the verge of entering the most challenging stretch of its schedule, where it will face six NESCAC opponents starting Saturday.
For the past two years, the women’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Division III championship game. The fact that both appearances resulted in losses should not overshadow the magnitude of what the team has accomplished: to be one of two teams standing after 424 others have fallen is itself a historic achievement.
Perfect is the enemy of good. Or, in the case of Bowdoin women’s basketball, of exceptional. It’s difficult to look back on a 31-2 season and feel somehow disappointed. But it’s not impossible. In a sense, we, the fans, are spoiled.
The women’s basketball team fell 81-67 to Thomas More (33-0) in the NCAA DIII championship game in Salem, Virginia, Saturday night. It is the second straight year Bowdoin has fallen just short of the title, after the Polar Bears lost to Amherst in the championship game last year.
Strange things happen when you’re very high up. You lose perspective. Things get a little blurry. Vertigo sets in. And if this past week of women’s basketball has been one thing, it has been vertiginous. After walking all over Middlebury in Saturday’s semifinal, the Polar Bears suffered their first loss of the season, falling to third-ranked Tufts, 69–75, in the finals of the NESCAC tournament on Sunday.
Women’s basketball suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to the Tufts Jumbos 69–75 in the finals of the NESCAC tournament. Tufts, coming off a last-minute upset of second-ranked Amherst in yesterday afternoon’s semifinal, claimed its third NESACAC title in program history, its second since 2015, and secured an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
The top-seeded women’s basketball team (26-0, 11-0 NESCAC) finished off fifth-seeded Middlebury (16-7, 5-6 NESCAC) in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament on Saturday afternoon to advance to tomorrow’s final game. The Polar Bears have not advanced to the NESCAC final since 2015, when they fell to Tufts, and have not won the tournament since 2009, Head Coach Adrienne Shibles’s first year at the program.
The women’s basketball team secured its 25th consecutive win with a 96-75 defeat of Connecticut College in the NESCAC quarterfinals last Saturday. Now the team will face No. 5-seed Middlebury. The game promises to be a tight matchup given that the Polar Bears’ closest game of the season was their four-point win over the Panthers on February 1.
Textbook. Flawless. Ideal. Unrivaled. Masterly. Exemplary. Superlative. Pick your adjective. But one descriptor will attach itself to Bowdoin women’s basketball regular season regardless of what thesaurus you pick up: perfect. The final weekend of the women’s basketball season was a one-two-punch that dispelled any doubt—if there was any still hanging around—about the Polar Bears’ on-court dominance.
For Bowdoin women’s basketball (20-0, NESCAC 6-0), the story of Saturday’s 65-56 victory over the Amherst Mammoths (17-2, NESCAC 4-1) began 315 days earlier in Rochester, Minnesota. It was there, in the Mayo Civic Center, that the undefeated Mammoths finished off the Polar Bears, 65-45, to earn their second consecutive Division III National Championship title.
If you noticed something different at the Bowdoin-Colby hockey game last weekend, it was probably a live rendition of “Sweet Caroline” or “The Middle” between periods, provided by the new Bowdoin Pep Band. The Pep Band was officially charted by Student Activities last fall, but it is not altogether new to Bowdoin sports culture.
Last weekend in a matchup against Colby in Morrell Gymnasium, Abby Kelly ’19 became the 15th person in Bowdoin women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. The team celebrated this milestone along with its 72-59 win over the Mules for the program’s 17th consecutive win to begin the season.
Ever since last year’s momentous NCAA tournament run ended in a second place finish, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team has been looking towards the start of its season as the beginning of its journey to avenge its loss against Amherst in the national championship game.
In a packed stadium in Rochester, Minn., the women’s basketball team (29-3, NESCAC 9-1) faced defending champion Amherst (33-0, NESCAC 10-0) in the NCAA Division III championship. While the first three quarters remained close, the Mammoths pulled away from the Polar Bears in the final quarter, winning 65-45.
The women’s basketball team (21-1, NESCAC 7-1) is continuing its strong play and has now won over 20 games for its fourth year in a row after beating Middlebury 70-52 on Friday. This is the ninth time the Polar Bears have reached this plateau in the 10 years Head Coach Adrienne Shibles has been leading the program.
This past weekend, the women’s basketball team displayed another stellar performance, beating Hamilton College 87-54 and extending its undefeated streak to 19 games. The streak, however, was broken on Saturday in a nail-biting 49-45 loss against Amherst, the top-ranked team in the nation.
This Wednesday, the women’s basketball team dominated University of Maine-Farmington 109-24, extending its undefeated record to 8-0. The team scored 60 points in just the first half of the game, setting a new program record for points in a single half.
Many athletes at Bowdoin become close with their teammates and other athletes, but for basketball players Lydia Caputi ’18 and Blake Gordon ’18, their friendship began far before Bowdoin. Gordon and Caputi have been next door neighbors since the time they were four and five years old, respectively.
After suffering an incredibly close 49-44 loss to Tufts last Saturday, the women’s basketball team secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament to keep its season alive. This will be Bowdoin’s 17th NCAA tournament appearance, and despite the team’s shortcomings in NESCAC playoffs, the team is hopeful about its prospects against SUNY New Paltz this weekend.