This release is courtesy of Smith Pioneers.
BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Smith College basketball team saw its successful season come to a close as Bowdoin College staged a fourth quarter comeback to defeat the Pioneers, 87-78, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday evening.
Smith ends a fantastic season with a record of 22-7.The Polar Bears (28-1) advance to the third round of the tournament next Friday where they will play New Paltz State at a location to be determined.
- Senior Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga./The Lawrenceville School) was the team-high scorer for Smith with 26 points, while adding eight rebounds.
- Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, BC, Can./Notre Dame Secondary) tacked on 21 points for the Pioneers.
- Senior Stephanie Foukaris (Nicosia, Cyprus/Pascal English School Nicosia) added 13 points off the bench.
- Taylor Choate tied two Bowdoin school records in this game with 38 points and seven three-pointers made.
- Abby Kelly pitched in 19 points for the Polar Bears, including eight big points in the fourth quarter.
- Hannah Graham also finished in double figures with 10 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Back and forth action from tip-off, as the first quarter saw eight different lead changes.
- Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga./The Lawrenceville School) was dominating the post early on for Smith, as she was able to score eight points down low in the first, while also adding three rebounds.
- Abby Kelly was able to finish a tough driving layup as time was expiring in the first quarter, giving Bowdoin a 20-18 lead after one.
- The Polar Bears went on a quick 11-2 run midway through the second quarter as Taylor Choate caught fire with nine of those 11 points, going 3-of-3 from behind the arc.
- The Pioneers answered with a run of their own, finishing the half on a 12-1 surge, re-taking the lead and going up 41-36 over the Polar Bears. Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, BC, Can./Notre Dame Secondary) sparked the swing for Smith, totaling eight points in the run, all coming on tough driving floaters near the hoop.
- The third quarter picked up right where these teams left off in the first half as the back and forth scoring continued. Hannah Graham hit a three as she was knocked down, cutting the Smith lead to 43-39. Katy McClellan (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) answered with a driving layup, pushing the Pioneers' lead to 45-39.
- The Polar Bears came back down the floor and Choate remained on fire, hitting another shot from deep, making the score 45-43 in favor of Smith. McClellan made a difficult and-one layup with 7:55 remaining in the third
- The Pioneers rode seven points from McClellan to take a 64-56 lead heading into the final period.
- With their season on the line, Abby Kelly sparked a 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter for Bowdoin, giving the hosts their first lead since early in the second quarter. Kelly tallied eight straight points that took the Polar Bears from six down to two ahead, 66-64, with 7:40 remaining.
- Choate carried the Polar Bears across the finish line, scoring 15 points down the stretch, including consecutive three-pointers that shook Morrell Gymnasium with under four minutes remaining.
- Bowdoin outscored Smith 31-14 in the period to pull away for the nine-point victory.
- Smith moves to 2-2 in NCAA Tournament games.
- The Pioneers were scorching hot from the field in the second quarter, shooting 11-of-14 (78.6%) helping them to a 41-36 lead at the half. Smith finished the game shooting 54.1%.
- The Polar Bears shot 50% from the floor, including 10 made three-pointers in the game.
- Bowdoin out-rebounded Smith by a total of 38 to 25.
- The Polar Bears closed out the game with clutch free throws, making 11-of-12 in the fourth quarter to ensure the win.