BOWDOIN COLLEGE’S Kate Kerrigan tries to get a shot off in a NESCAC quarterfinal women’s basketball game against Williams College on Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick. The Polar Bears rolled to a 73-50 victory.

BOWDOIN COLLEGE’S Kate Kerrigan tries to get a shot off in a NESCAC quarterfinal women’s basketball game against Williams College on Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium in Brunswick. The Polar Bears rolled to a 73-50 victory.

BRUNSWICK

Shannon Brady often steals the show for the Bowdoin College women’s basketball team.

In Saturday’s New England Small College Athletic Conference quarterfinal game against Williams, she had a partner in crime — sophomore Lauren Petit, who hit four treys and split 32 points with Brady as the Polar Bears rolled over the visiting Ephs, 73-50, and secured a spot in next weekend’s NESCAC semifinals.

BOWDOIN’S MARLE CURLE goes up for a shot in a NESCAC quarterfinal against Williams on Saturday in Brunswick.

BOWDOIN’S MARLE CURLE goes up for a shot in a NESCAC quarterfinal against Williams on Saturday in Brunswick.

“I was feeling good,” Petit said. “I wasn’t too sure how I was going to shoot because I wasn’t shooting that well in practice, but my team set me up amazing and I finished it for them.”

Three of Petit’s four triples came in the first half, where No. 3 Bowdoin (20-5, 9- 2 NESCAC) built up as much as a 16-point lead. Sixth-seeded Williams (17-8, 5-6 NESCAC) cut the deficit to just six early in the second half, but the Polar Bears responded with force to set up a dominant final frame.

“I thought we played great,” Bowdoin coach Adrienne Shibles said. “I thought whenever they went on a little run, we responded. It just shows our heart and our confidence.”

The hosts found the range early, hitting four 3-pointers in the first quarter to jump out to a 24-9 advantage. Kate Kerrigan, who led the team with 10 rebounds, hit two of them and finished with 15 total points. Bowdoin splashed 10 treys on the day, shooting almost 60 percent from distance.

“We really play in the moment,” Brady said. “If we see an opening down low, like a missed guarding opportunity, then we’re going to take advantage of it. But, we have some of the best 3-point shooters, so you’ve got to take advantage of that too.”

“If it’s there, we shoot,” Shibles said. “We stressed to get to ball reversal, because we knew in those moments people were going to be really focused on Shannon Brady inside, and if we could just move the ball, we’d have those looks.”

Brady scored the bulk of her 16 points down in the paint and grabbed five boards in her 34 minutes on the court. The Polar Bears shot 45.9-percent from the floor as a whole, hitting 7-of- 11 from the free throw line.

Marle Curle chipped in with 11 points and tallied a game-high nine assists. Right after Williams’’ third-quarter run to bring the score to 41-35, Curle and Ally Silfen hit back-to-back treys as a quick answer for the home side. Bowdoin then went on to out-score the Ephs, 18-4 in the fourth quarter to close the game.

Lauren McCall led the way for Williams, hitting six 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 22 points. Oge Uwanaka chipped in with 10 points and 11 boards.

Offensive balance

Quick inside-out ball movement was a theme for Bowdoin, which created many wide-open outside looks on offense. If Brady, who was often doubled inside, wasn’t there, the ball promptly found its way around the arc and into the hands of an open shooter. Petit hit four of her six long-range attempts and was left wide open multiple times.

“Lauren Petit really stepped us for us behind the perimeter,” Shibles said. “But she also did some dirty work getting some rebounds and steals for us.”

The 5-foot-8 guard pulled in six rebounds and added two of Bowdoin’s 12 steals in the game. Many of Williams’ possessions were halted in the back court, leading to the Polar Bears moving down the floor and scoring in transition. The Ephs’ leading ball-handler Aman- ni Fernandez, who had seven points and four helpers, felt the pressure and had the ball taken away seven times.

With easy transition layups added to the mix, the Bowdoin offense was firing on all cylinders.

“It’s great,” Brady said of the balanced attack. “That’s what makes us so unstoppable.

I was getting a lot of pressure in the post, but I knew that the harder I worked in there, the more it was going to open up teammates out on the 3-point line. Lauren (Petit), Kate (Kerrigan), Lyd (ia Caputi) all had a day with the 3-point line.”

“It’s so important,” Petit said. “If teams are going to look to double, we have to knock down those shots or we’re going to have no offense. Shannon (Brady) is our leading scorer and they’re going to look to double, so we have to knock those down to open her up.”

On defense, it was a matter of bending, but not breaking, in the middle of the game, and then suffocating in the late goings. The Polar Bears forced 18 total turnovers (leading directly to 22 points) and blocked four shots in the win. Williams managed just 31.7 percent from the floor, a mark helped heavily by McCall hitting six of her eight 3-point attempts.

“We are definitely a defensive stop team,” Brady said. “When we get into the pass lane and deny and bring the help defense, we really can’t be stopped. It’s a huge asset for us.”

“I love our squad and their scrappiness,” Shibles said. “I thought Kate Kerrigan and Marle Curle did a great job defensively for us today.”

Kerrigan also added five steals, with Caputi contributing eight points and four rebounds for Bowdoin.

The Polar Bears will now face second-seeded Amherst at Tufts College next Saturday for a chance to appear in the NESCAC final on Feb. 28. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.

Bowdoin 73,
Williams 50

Saturday, at Bowdoin College
Williams — 9 17 20 4 — 50
Bowdoin — 18 20 17 18 — 73
Williams — Devon Caveney 2-0-5,
Lauren McCall 8-0-22, Kristin
Fechtelkotte 3-0-6, Oge Uwanaka 4-2-
10, Amanni Fernandez 2-3-7, Lexi
Jones 0-0-0, Caroline Lovisolo 0-0-0,
Lauren Vostal 0-0-0, Lydia Zaleski 0-
0-0. Totals — 19-5-50.
Bowdoin — Shannon Brady 8-0-16,
Kate Kerrigan 6-0-15, Lauren Petit 5-
2-16, Marle Curle 4-2-11, Lydia
Caputi 3-1-8, Sydney Hancock 0-0-0,
Taylor Choate 1-0-2, Rachel Norton
0-1-1, Hannah Cooke 0-0-0, Ally Silfen 1-0-3, Abigail Kelly 0-1-1, Bridget
Snow 0-0-0, Emily Campbell 0-0-0,
Hannah Graham 0-0-0. Totals — 28-
7-73.
3-point field goals — (W) Devon
Caveney, Lauren McCall 6; (B) Kate
Kerrigan 3, Lauren Petit 4, Marle
Curle, Lydia Caputi, Ally Silfen.
Records — Bowdoin 20-5, Williams
17-8
Up next for the Polar Bears
NESCAC semifinal against Amherst at
Tufts College, Saturday, 4 p.m.


Comments are not available on this story.