Women’s basketball (20-5, 6-4 in the NESCAC) suffered a tough 71-46 loss to Bowdoin last Saturday in the opening round of the NESCAC Championships. The Ephs must now wait for the announcement of the NCAA pairings to see if they are offered an at-large bid to play in the NCAA Div. III Championships.
In the opening minutes of the first half, a 4-2 deficit for the Ephs snowballed into a 19-point lead for the Polar Bears. Bowdoin scored 17 unanswered points within an eight-minute span as Williams was plagued with early turnovers. Bowdoin shot 49 percent from the field in the first half.
Three-pointers by Devon Caveney ’17 and Lauren McCall ’17 gave the Ephs brief sparks of hope, but in the first half, the Ephs did not put together consecutive baskets. By the time the buzzer sounded for the half, Bowdoin had built a 43-15 lead.
The Ephs started to gain momentum at the start of the second half, with baskets from McCall, Oge Uwanaka ’16 and co-captain Ellen Cook ’15 preventing the Polar Bears from extending their lead. However, a 13-6 run by Bowdoin meant Williams faced an insurmountable 35-point deficit with 11 minutes to play.
Even as the Ephs saw their NESCAC championship run come to an end, they continued to fight and reduce the margin between the teams. Williams ended up outscoring Bowdoin in the second half, led by Uwanaka’s nine second-half points. However, the Ephs’ first half deficit was much too large to overcome, as the Polar Bears went on to a 71-46 victory.
“It was a tough loss but we are a young team and can learn a lot from it,” Cook said.
With this defeat, Williams lost the chance to clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as conference champions but can still make the tournament with an at-large bid. “We are practicing like we are going to make the tournament,” Cook added. The Ephs will find out their fate when the NCAA pairings are announced in early March. The first round of the NCAA Div. III Championships begins on March 7.