Saturday women: Polar Bears pull away

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Maddie Hasson and the Bowdoin offense caught fire in the second half and pulled away from No. 4 Tufts on Saturday afternoon.
File photo by Cory Chuchna,

No. 1 Bowdoin went on the road and posted an impressive win at No. 4 Tufts 82-63 in a matchup that could determine hosting rights for the conference tournament and beyond, while No. 2 Thomas More went on the road, yet again, and came away with a win against a ranked team as well on Saturday.

After a nip-and-tuck first half where the teams mostly played within a possession of each other, Jac Knapp hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Erica DeCandido made two free throws to give Tufts a 38-32 lead. Bowdoin responded with a 3 from Abby Kelly and scored 10 of the next 12 points to jump back in front. The Polar Bears scored the final four points of the period, including a 3 from Sela Kay with five seconds, and the first four points of the fourth quarter to open up a double-digit lead. The Polar Bears led by at least 10 the rest of the way.

The Polar Bears shot 50 percent, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range, paced by Maddie Hasson (21 points, seven rebounds) and Kelly (17 points, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc). DeCandido scored 20 points for the Jumbos (12-1, 1-1 NESCAC).

Bowdoin improved to 12-0, 2-0 in the NESCAC, but more importantly it owns the tiebreaker over the Jumbos for home court advantage in the conference tournament. The NESCAC teams only play each other once in games that count in the conference standings so Tufts would likely need Bowdoin to lose twice, even if the Jumbos beat Amherst when those teams meet on Feb. 1.

Middlebury quietly improved to 12-0, 2-0 in the NESCAC with a 69-57 win at Wesleyan. The Panthers host Tufts next Saturday.

Madison Temple scored a career-high 35 points and led second-ranked Thomas More to a 78-75, come-from-behind win over No. 23 UT-Dallas. The Comets led by as many as nine points, 47-38, before Thomas More (21-0) went on a run to tie the game at the end of the third quarter and Temple scored eight of her points in the fourth. Raenett Hughes led the Comets (9-4) with 20 points.

The UAA opened conference play with travel partners facing each other. Washington U picked up a big win at No. 8 Chicago, 85-66. The Bears (7-5, 1-0 UAA) jumped on the Maroons early, building a 28-15 first quarter advantage they would not relinquish. Becca Clark-Callendar had 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds and Madeline Homoly added 23 points for Wash U. The Maroons (9-3, 0-1 UAA) have dropped two in a row.

Emory, which has the best overall record in the conference, won at Rochester 70-52. The Eagles (10-2, 1-0 UAA) held Rochester to 31 percent (20-for-64) and outrebounded the Yellowjackets by 14. Brandeis beat New York University in Boston and Case Western won at Carnegie Mellon.

No. 18 Gettysburg defended its home court and took sole possession of first place in the Centennial conference by beating Muhlenberg, 69-58. The Bullets (9-2, 6-0 CC) hit 11 threes, led by Emma Dorshimer who had 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds. Gettysburg has a one-game lead on the Mules (9-2, 5-1 CC) and Johns Hopkins in the conference standings, and wins over both of them. The Blue Jays won at Haverford 54-45.

Bridgette Mann scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead No. 6 Scranton over Elizabethtown, 66-53. The Lady Royals are 12-0 and have one all but one game by double digts.

Mary Washington bounced back from Wednesday night's loss to Frostburg and pulled above .500 with a 66-53 win over No. 16 Christopher Newport. The Eagles (7-6, 1-1 CAC) held CNU to 32 percent shooting and rode Emily Thompson's 26 points to victory.

No. 12 Mary Hardin-Baylor won its tune up for Monday night's showdown with No. 2 Thomas More with ease. The Crusaders (14-0, 6-0 ASC) handled Louisiana College 96-67 behind 18 points apiece from Hannah Holt and Kendall Rollins and 17 from Aubrie Elliott.

No. 20 Baldwin Wallace looked like it would bounce back from Wednesday's loss to Marietta when the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead at Otterbein. But the Cardinals scored 51 points in the second half and came back to beat Baldwin Wallace, 79-71. Dani Kissel scored 28 points for Otterbein (7-6, 3-3). John Carroll took over first place in the OAC with a 80-59 win over Wilmington.

In WIAC action No. 19 Oshkosh held Stout to 23 points in the first half and crushed the Blue Devils, 81-54. The Titans (12-1, 2-0 WIAC) used 17 players, 12 of whom scored. Oshkosh and Eau Claire are the only two teams to escape the first week of conference play unscathed. The Blugolds (11-2, 2-0) had all five starters reach double figures, led by 22 points from Kelsey Bakken, and handled Whitewater, 85-58.

Central led at halftime and after three quarters, but No. 24 Wartburg came alive in the fourth and put the Dutch away by a 55-43 score. Bailey Brown scored eight of her 10 points in the final period to help the Knights improve to 11-2, 4-0 in the American Rivers Conference. Central fell to 5-8, 1-3 in the ARC.

Outside the Top 25 Jalani Jackson's 3-pointer with three seconds left lifted Mass-Boston over Mass-Dartmouth, 75-72. Jackson's shot was the game winner, but free throwing shooting was the difference. The Beacons (10-3, 4-1 LEC) shot 19-for-21 from the line while the Corsairs (10-3, 3-1 LEC) were just 12-for-20. Joie Grassi notched a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds for Mass-Boston which snapped its two-game losing streak.

New Jersey City snapped a 58-game NJAC losing streak with a 68-67 win vs. Stockton. Senior captain Marajiah Bacon stepped to the free throw line with 0.5 seconds on the clock and a tie game and hit one of two free throws to give the Gothic Knights their first conference victory since Feb. 18, 2015. Bacon finished with 30 points, nine steals and eight rebounds in the win, which was the program's first win vs. Stockton in 20 years.

At the other end of the spectrum, No. 3 St. Thomas pushed its MIAC winning streak to 60 games with a 67-46 win over Hamline. The Tommies (12-1, 6-0 MIAC) have not lost a game since Jan. 9, 2016.