The Bowdoin women’s basketball team is making NCAA Division III tournament noise yet again.

This time, the Polar Bears had to travel to do so.

Last weekend, in Ithaca, N.Y., Bowdoin eliminated familiar foe University of Southern Maine and the host team, Ithaca College, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

Against the Huskies, Bowdoin avenged a loss from earlier in the season and made history by making it 12 consecutive years with at least one NCAA D3 tournament victory.

The Polar Bears took an early lead, but USM rallied to lead at halftime, 36-32. Then, in the second half, Bowdoin turned it up a notch and pulled away for a 75-68 victory.

Kaitlin Donahoe led the way with 20 points. Amy Hackett added 14 points and Jill Henrikson finished with a dozen.

The Polar Bears reached 20 wins for the 12th time in 13 seasons and reached the second round for the 12th year in a row.

There, they got an even tougher battle from Ithaca.

A low scoring first half ended with Bowdoin on top, 22-20. The game remained close in the second half and the Polar Bears didn’t take the lead for good until Ellery Gould scored with 54 seconds left. Gould later added two free throws and Bowdoin held off the Bombers, 55-51.

Henrikson led the way with 18 points. Gould added 11 points and eight rebounds as the Polar Bears improved to 21-7, made it to the Sweet Sixteen for the third year in a row and 10th time in the last dozen seasons.

Bowdoin will face George Fox Friday night in Fredericksburg, Va.

If the Polar Bears can keep it going, they’ll look for a berth in the Final Four Saturday against either host Mary Washington University or Lebanon Valley.

Hockey teams fall

The news wasn’t quite as good from the ice last weekend.

The Bowdoin men’s hockey team lost in the NESCAC semifinals, 6-3, to Middlebury, and fell to 16-6-3 on the year.

Daniel Weiniger, Nick Wetzel and Rob MacGregor had the Polar Bears’ goals.

The women’s team lost in the semifinals to Amherst, 1-0, and ended its year at 12-10-4. Kayla Lessard had 22 saves in the setback.

Sidebar Elements

Bowdoin’s Jill Henrikson (shown in an early game this season) had 18 points to help the Polar Bears knock off Ithaca, 55-51, in an NCAA Division III second round contest last weekend. Bowdoin will play George Fox Friday in the Sweet Sixteen.