Women’s hoops drops tournament tilt

February 24, 2016 by Jake Foehl, Staff Writer

Women’s basketball (17-8, 5-5 in the NESCAC) fell to third-seeded Bowdoin 73-50 on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin used a balanced and efficient offensive attack that enabled four of their players to score in double figures. The standouts for Bowdoin included Shannon Brady and Lauren Petit, who each notched 16 points to lead the opposition.  The Ephs were led by Lauren McCall ’17, who made six of her eight three-point shots to accrue a season-high 22 points in a standout performance. McCall was one of the only bright spots in a lackluster game for the Ephs, who could not establish themselves on either end of the court. The absence of co-captain Katie Litman ’16, who was out with an ankle injury, was a big loss for the team on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Opponents have outscored Williams by more than 20 points per game during her three-game absence.

The first quarter was a continuation of the recent offensive struggles for Williams. The lack of offensive flow allowed Bowdoin to jump out to an early 18-9 lead after the first ten minutes, a concerning replay of the regular season matchup between the two teams in which Bowdoin dominated the first quarter en route to a convincing win. Williams leaned heavily on its two leading scorers, Ammani Fernandez ’18 and Devon Caveney ’17, who combined for 10 of the women’s first 14 shots. Despite the high shot rate, the duo failed to find the bottom of the net at an efficient rate, shooting a woeful 2-11 from the field in the ball game.

Bowdoin stretched their lead immediately in the second quarter with back-to-back three-pointers from Petit and Kerrigan that gave the opposition a double-digit lead. The Polar Bears had built up a 16-point lead before McCall began to cut into that deficit with clutch accurate shooting. McCall hit two threes as part of her eight points in the second quarter to help the team claw back within 10 before co-captain Oge Uwanaka ’16 cut it to eight with a layup. While the Ephs’ offense began to find some rhythm and balance, their defense could not slow down the Polar Bears on the other end. The home team  continued to find good looks inside and out and were able to spread out their offense to settle into a comfortable rhythm. Another three from Petit and a layup from Brady provided the response that Bowdoin needed to extend their lead back to 15 before Kristen Fechtelkotter ’18 brought the game back within 12 with a layup right before the halftime buzzer.

The teams traded runs in the third quarter, with Williams ultimately gaining three points on Bowdoin by the end of the period. The women played the quarter from behind but put themselves back in the ball game with clutch stops and timely shooting, trimming the lead down to as little as six. Unfortunately for the Ephs, whenever they started to work their way back into the game, the Polar Bears came up with a response. At one point, Williams came within six points before two Bowdoin players hit three-pointers to get the opposition rolling back to a fifteen-point lead, which put the game out of reach.

Bowdoin slammed the door shut on Williams in the fourth quarter by a score of 18-4 to cap off their convincing 23-point victory.

“Oge had a great night,” Head Coach Pat Manning said. “It was outstanding for her to get a double-double in her last game. It’s disappointing to end the season like this, but it’s time to celebrate a fantastic four years for Kate and Oge.”

The loss marked the last game for the team’s two senior captains, Litman and Uwanaka.

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