BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Williams College women's basketball team (11-11, 3-5 NESCAC) lost to No. 3 Bowdoin (21-1, 7-1 NESCAC) 73-47 in an away NESCAC matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The Polar Bears got out to an early lead on the Ephs. A Cordelia Stewart jumpshot with 7:40 remaining in the first quarter put Bowdoin up 6-0. A Kristin Fechtelkotter layup with 3:48 left in the opening quarter put Williams down 11-3, but layups by Maddie Hasson on Bowdoin's next two possessions re-extended the Polar Bears' lead to 15-3. Going into the second quarter, Bowdoin led the Ephs 17-3.
The Ephs and Polar Bears traded baskets to start the second quarter, and two free throws by Lauren Vostal with 7:28 remaining cut the Bowdoin lead to 24-12. After two Bowdoin layups, a layup by Mikaela Topper with 3:44 remaining in the first half put the Ephs down 28-14. From this point, however, it was all Polar Bears: Bowdoin would score the final seven points of the half, extending their commanding lead to 35-14 at the break.
A Kate Kerrigan jump shot with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter extended the Bowdoin lead to 44-16. Williams would trade baskets with Bowdoin for the next few minutes, slowly chipping away at the Polar Bears' lead; a traditional three-point play by Gabby Martin with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter brought the Ephs as close as 52-30. However, Bowdoin's Abby Kelly would respond by hitting two straight three-pointers, and the Polar Bears went into the fourth quarter leading 60-32.
A Taylor Choate layup gave Bowdoin their biggest lead of the game at 65-32 with 8:38 remaining in the fourth. From this point on, the Ephs would continue to compete. During the closing minutes, Meehan hit jump shots on back to back possessions, Morgan Dauk had a pair of layups, and Martin netted a three-pointer. Although the Ephs would ultimately lose by 26, they did outscore Bowdoin 15-13 in the fourth quarter.
Martin led the Ephs with 12 points. Additionally, Meehan had 11 points and five assists, and Dauk netted a season-high six points. Petit led Bowdoin with 14 points, and Maddie Hasson had 12.
Despite being disappointed about the loss, Williams head coach Pat Manning was proud of her players who came off the bench and competed until the final whistle: "I'm really happy with Gabby Martin, Maggie Meehan, and Morgan Dauk. They work hard every day at practice, and today they came in and made things happen on the floor."
Coach Manning gave the Polar Bears credit: "They're a very good team that has a lot of weapons." Bowdoin's only defeat of the season was a 49-45 loss at No. 1 Amherst last weekend.
Williams was outrebounded by Bowdoin 40-23. Meehan and Dauk led the Ephs with four boards apiece, while Kerrigan had seven rebounds for the Polar Bears.
Williams returns to action on Friday, February 9th with a home game against NESCAC rival Amherst. The Ephs will look to avenge a 52-43 road loss to the Mammoths earlier this season. The next day, the Ephs have their senior day game against Hamilton at 3 p.m.
Coach Manning noted that these two games next weekend, the final weekend of NESCAC play, are quite important to her team's postseason hopes: "We control our own destiny. We'll be working hard in practice this week."
Bowdoin also returns to action on Friday, playing at Connecticut College at 7 p.m.