Saturday women: Mammoths fend off Polar Bears

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Emma McCarthy, who is shooting 61 percent from the foul line this season, sank two pressure-packed free throws on Saturday to seal the Mammoths victory.
File photo by Larry Radloff,

No. 1 Amherst won an extremely tight, low-scoring battle with No. 4 Bowdoin 49-45 to keep its perfect record in tact and hand the Polar Bears their first loss of the season.

With both teams playing their second game in less than 24 hours, offense was at a premium in the only regular season meeting between Amherst and Bowdoin. Bowdoin led 11-9 after the first quarter and neither team scored more than 14 points in any quarter. Amherst took a 30-25 lead early in the third quarter only to see the Polar Bears score the next five points. Neither team led by more than the two possessions during the second half.

In the fourth quarter Kate Kerrigan hit a three-pointer to give Bowdoin a 42-40 lead with 4:27 to play. Three possessions later Hannah Fox answered with a three to put Amherst back in front. On Amherst's next possession, Madeline Eck drove the lane and scored a layup, pushing the Mammoths' lead to 45-42. Trailing 47-44 with 20 seconds left, Bowdoin had the ball with a chance to tie the game. Abby Kelly missed a three and the Polar Bears grabbed the offensive rebound and went for two instead of the tie. Lauren Petit was fouled and split the free throws. Amherst ran down the clock on its next possession and Emma McCarthy sank two free throws to seal the win. Box score

Amherst (20-0, 6-0) extends its winning streak to 53 games going back to its loss in the 2016 NCAA Tournament national semifinals. The Mammoths also have a one-game lead on Bowdoin (19-1, 5-1) and No. 8 Tufts (18-2, 5-1). The Jumbos, who defeated Wesleyan 67-56, go to Amherst next Saturday.

No. 11 Trine erased No. 3 Hope's lead in the MIAA and ended the Flying Dutch's hopes for an undefeated regular season. The Thunder held Hope to 14 points in the first half and held on for a 57-55 win at DeVos Fieldhouse. Brandi Dawson scored 25 points, including the 1000th of her career, and Hayley Martin posted a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) for Trine (18-2, 10-1). The Thunder completed the rare feat of winning at Calvin and Hope in back-to-back games and finished the regular season against those two teams with a 3-1 mark. Hope (18-1, 9-1) plays Calvin a second time on Feb. 7.Ros

The losses by Bowdoin and Hope left two undefeated teams in Division III women's basketball -- Amherst and No. 2 Wartburg. The Knights routed Dubuque 96-51.

Capital slowed No. 10 Ohio Northern's roll through the OAC by upsetting the Polar Bears, 84-76. Elle Folan led four Crusaders starters in double figures, scoring 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting and seven 3-pointers. Amy Bullimore scored 19 points and grabbed 12 boards for Ohio Northern (17-2, 11-1), which has a one-game lead on Marietta in the OAC standings. The 19th-ranked Pioneers also had four starters score double figures in their 82-72 over Baldwin Wallace.

No. 14 UW-Oshkosh shut out UW-River Falls in the third quarter and cruised to a 68-45 win. Eliza Campbell scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Titans (16-2, 6-2), who remain tied for first with No. 18 UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks (16-3, 6-2) defeated UW-Eau Claire 61-58 behind Malia Smith's 17 points.

Makenzie Mason scored a layup with less than a second left to lift No. 15 Scranton past Elizabethtown, 46-44. The Lady Royals' victory gave the two basketball programs 2,500 combined, second most behind St. Thomas. 

Outside the Top 25, St. Benedict beat Bethel 83-76 and swept the regular season series from the Royals. The Blazers outscored Bethel 32-18 in the fourth quarter, as Niki Fokken scored seven of her team-high 23 points in the final period. Hannah Johnson tallied 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks for the Royals.

Rose-Hulman extended its winning streak to 14 games by beating Transylvania, 68-56. Abby Bromenschenkel scored 13 points and had five assists for the Fightin' Engineers (16-3, 12-0).

Texas-Dallas finished the first half of ASC play in style, beating Louisiana College 81-73 and clinching a spot in the ASC tournament. East Texas Baptist remained tied with the Comets for first place in the ASC East by taking care of the University of the Ozarks, 69-56.