BRUNSWICK — After a rough weekend of shooting, Ellery Gould went into Tuesday’s game figuring the shots would fall for Bowdoin.

Chalk one up for the power of positive thinking.

Gould hit 3 of 4 3-pointers in the first half, including two on the decisive 12-0 run over the opening six minutes, as the Bowdoin women’s basketball team rode an early lead and lockdown defense to a 69-53 victory over the University of New England at Morrell Gymnasium.

“I felt loose, and I had the mentality that every shot was going in,” said Gould, a senior guard who finished with 14 points. “We hit some early shots and we just kept going.”

Jill Henrikson scored 21 points and Kaitlin Donahoe 15 as the Polar Bears (3-0) shot 39.4 percent in the first half and 37.5 percent for the game in beating the Nor’easters (2-1) for the 16th straight time.

The hot hand in the first half was timely in more ways than one. First, it helped the Polar Bears distance themselves from a dismal 28.6 percent showing in a 65-61 overtime win Saturday over Rensselaer in the final of their tipoff tournament.

“After the weekend, we focused on what a great shooting team we are,” said Bowdoin Coach Adrienne Shibles. “We have to keep shooting. I’m glad we could work our way out of it.”

Second, and more importantly, it proved a key to win over the cold-starting but feisty Nor’easters.

“We focused on bringing the (defensive) intensity from the start of the game,” Shibles said. “I thought we did a good job of getting a strong start with our press.”

The Polar Bears’ defense, led early by Henrikson and Amy Hackett on the post and a tenacious Donahoe on the perimeter, knocked UNE out of its rhythm. The Polar Bears held the Nor’easters to 32.1 percent shooting, 29 percent in the first half.

“It’s tough to attack that kind of pressure, it disrupts your normal flow,” said UNE Coach Anthony Ewing.

The Nor’easters, already slowed by the absence of guard Lauren Rousseau (ankle injury), suffered another blow when point guard Kari Pelletier left the game with an eye injury with about four minutes left in the first half.

“The main thing was from the beginning, our defense was bad,” Ewing said, “We started out in a hole because of poor perimeter defense and boxing out.”

The Nor’easters came out fired up in the second half, led by Kelley Paradis, who after the break scored 14 of her 17 points.

“We got tired of looking (bad) out there and wanted to come and play,” Paradis said. “We got sick of it at the end of the first half, came out and kicked it in (gear), but it wasn’t enough.

“I don’t know where we were in the first half. We just gave them too many wide-open shots. We came back in the second half. And we did play.”

After falling behind 37-23 at the half, the Nor’easters outscored Bowdoin 16-15 over the opening 13 minutes.

“I went into the half upset we weren’t up by more,” Shibles said. “At halftime I was upset we weren’t up by more because I knew 14 points were not enough of a cushion against a team like UNE.”

Whereas Gould led the charge in the first half, Henrikson took over in the second half, scoring 14 points.

“Jill got the rhythm, had a lot of steals (seven) and did a great job on both ends,” Shibles said. “There were some frustrating moments, but the women did a good job of maintaining their composure.”