NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Connecticut College women's basketball team gave No. 4 Bowdoin all it could handle before ultimately falling by an 80-63 score at the Charles B. Luce Field House on Friday evening.
Despite trailing by a 54-35 score with six minutes left in the third quarter, Connecticut College attempted to stage a furious rally and ended the frame on a 19-2 run to pull within five through 30 minutes of action. Freshman Casey Walsh (Phoenixville, Pa.) sparked the run by draining a 3-pointer and then finding sophomore Sami Ashton (Clinton, Conn.) for a layup. Junior Kylie Caouette (Ashburnham, Mass.) and Walsh added 3-pointers in the waning minutes, and Ashton converted a shot at the line to make it 56-51 heading into the fourth quarter.
Bowdoin, however, recovered and got going again when Abby Kelly drove in for a layup and drilled a trifecta to push the margin back up to double digits in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. The Camels trimmed the deficit down to six on a Caouette layup, but that was as close as they would come the rest of the way. Cordelia Stewart and Kelly hit free throws down the stretch to put the game on ice.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a 10-2 advantage by forcing turnovers and finishing on the other end. But after Kate Kerrigan put back a miss to make it 19-7, the Camels started to come to life and only trailed by a 19-13 score at the end of the first quarter by getting back-to-back layups from senior Mairead Hynes (Mahopac, N.Y.) and Caouette. Ashton then found Caouette for a trey on the team's opening possession of the second quarter to make it a 3-point game, but that was as close as the hosts would come the rest of the way. The Polar Bears held off every comeback attempt and led from wire-to-wire en route to posting their 22nd win of the season.
Bowdoin (22-1, NESCAC 8-1), which has only lost to undefeated and top-ranked Amherst this season, was led by Kelly's 26 points off the bench. Stewart recorded 17 points and eight rebounds, while Taylor Choate contributed 10 points and a six steals.
Caoutte notched a team-leading 20 points and also had five swipes for Connecticut College. Hynes nearly posted a double-double with 13 points and nine boards, and Walsh and Ashton finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Connecticut College (14-8, NESCAC 3-6) will host Colby tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. with postseason implications on the line, as both teams will enter the final day of the regular season in a four-way tie for sixth place. Hynes will also be recognized for her contributions to the program prior to the game.