BRUNSWICK – Bowdoin College used a huge first-half run spanning the first and second quarters to create separation with Brooklyn College en route to a 90-51 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament on Friday. 

Brooklyn scored with 2:13 left in the first quarter to pull within 16-8 before the second-ranked Polar Bears took off on a 17-4 run that finished with 3:18 left in the first half. The run got the Bowdoin crowd going. 

“I think we kind of just settled in,” Bowdoin’s Sam Roy said on the huge first-half run. “It was a good feeling just being back in Morrell (Gymnasium). We definitely let the game come to us and went on a little bit of a run.”

Roy finished the game with 20 points, nine of which came amidst a blistering second quarter in which the Polar Bears took an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter and increased it to 24 points by halftime. 

Roy went 3-of-4 from the field in the second quarter as well as 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. She also dished out a total of eight assists in the game, three in the second quarter. 

“I thought a big key to the game was Sam’s consistency and intensity,” Bowdoin coach Adrienne Shibles said. “Twenty points, eight assists which is just amazing, five rebounds but she was also called upon to defend their best guard and I thought she did a really good job of that.”

Brooklyn’s Chanel Jemmott scored six points early for the Bulldogs before being held scoreless in the second quarter. Jemmott was able to score 11-second half points to end with 17 thanks to some different play calls by coach Alex Lang. 

“I think in the first half we were stagnant so coach put us into a play where we play a little bit of five-out where we were able to cut off the ball and get some easy ones and I think that helped propel our team,” Jemmott said.

A big reason why Jemmott and the Bulldogs were ineffective in the paint was Bowdoin’s Annie Maher, who off the bench scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards in the win. 

“We worked a lot this week on post defense and being in good denial so we were prepared for them,” Maher said. “But they are great players, strong, and they can finish well so it was about being in good position and getting a solid box out.”

Shibles said Maher gave the team some “key moments” and was “critical in shoring up the paint.” 

For Lang, the loss on Friday will be a great learning experience for his young squad. 

“It was a great season,” Lang said. “Last year we lost a lot of our roster but we have some great returning players like Chanel and Taylor George. We had a big group of freshmen and they all stepped up throughout the year. It was great for our confidence… I couldn’t be prouder, we played a really great team tonight in Bowdoin and I’m sure they’ll keep going in the tournament.”

Bowdoin opened up a 32-point lead on Brooklyn quickly in the third off of buckets from Maddie Hasson (eight points), Sela Kay (13 points) and Roy. Morrell Gym was loud and the Polar Bears fed off the energy. 

“It was great just to sleep in our own beds and have our resources right here on campus, but more importantly it was great to have our fans here behind us,” Shibles said. “It’s truly special for our seniors, for Sam, Olivia and Maddie to have another opportunity to play here at home. We want to take every opportunity tomorrow to really leave it all on the court.”

The atmosphere may have contributed to Bowdoin’s incredible shooting from behind the arch as the Polar Bears finished 11-of-23 from 3-point land. 

Bowdoin didn’t face Brooklyn in the regular season, so Roy said that Friday night’s game was about going back to basics. 

“We were coming off a big weekend and I think that was the main thing on our minds, ‘How are we going to respond and continue to play at a high level,’” Roy said. “I think what was on all of our minds was just coming in and doing the little things and letting the game come to us. I think in conference we’ve been playing people we are really familiar with so I think this game was a lot about making a good pass on the right reads.”

Shibles was excited about her team’s offensive performance, but knows defense will be key against NYU on Saturday. 

“I liked our balance with regard to scoring and I thought everyone really contributed for our team,” Shibles said. “I thought we played great defense in moments so tomorrow we are going to have to really string those moments out because NYU has a lot of weapons so it’s something we are going to have to be focused on getting out to shooters and defending their interior game.”

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PULLS AWAY FROM EMMANUEL COLLEGE

In the first game of the night at Morrell Gym, New York University took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter before locking down on defense for an 81-62 win.

The Violets outscored Emmanuel 26-11 in the final frame thanks to a huge fourth from Jenny Walker.

Walker finished with 20 points while Janean Cuffee led all scorers with 24 in the win.

NYU pulled away a couple of times in the third, but Emmanuel roared back each time. In the fourth, NYU added onto its 10-point advantage when Annie Barrett drove to the basket and beat the shot clock with a layup to put her team up 67-55 with 6:10 left in the game. NYU shot well in the final quarter and put away Emmanuel with ease late.

Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda scored 20 points for Emmanuel in the loss.

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