|Katie Sommer celebrates the Knights' victory over East Texas Baptist during Saturday night's net-cutting ceremony.
Photo by Pat Coleman, D3hoops.com
The final four teams in the NCAA Tournament are the teams ranked No. 1, 2, 3 and 5 in the country after Amherst, Bowdoin and Thomas More rolled into the national semifinals and Wartburg battled past East Texas Baptist.
East Texas Baptist made its first five shots, but then hit just five of its next 20 as Wartburg went on a 13-0 to take a halftime lead, then extended it early in the third quarter. The Tigers rallied with a 12-0 run of their own in the fourth quarter to make it a ballgame in the closing minutes before Wartburg held on to survive, 65-61.
Wartburg guard Katie Sommer rattled in a long 3-pointer to start the second quarter run, added a steal, a layup and a foul shot to give the Knights the lead, then picked off another pass and took it to the hole, making two foul shots. Sommer started the third period with a 3-pointer that launched another run as the Knights (31-0) rattled off 17 consecutive points to open the second half. East Texas Baptist's Katy Boren hit a 3-pointer from the wing to cap a 10-0 run of her own to bring ETBU (25-7) within six points at 60-54. Madison McCoy followed with a jumper to make it 60-56.
After a Miranda Murphy free throw, Boren rattled in another long shot to cut the lead to two, but on the way up the floor, Kim Childress collided with Neuendorf and was whistled for a flagrant foul. Neuendorf made both free throws to extend the lead back out to 63-59. Out of a timeout, Boren threw up a deep contested shot that did not fall, and Wartburg closed it out by making two of four at the foul line.
Boren finished with 18 points, including 4-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc, to lead ETBU. Sommer had 11 of her 14 points in the first half, while Morgan Neuendorf, who had a game-high 19, scored 14 after halftime.
After splitting the first two games of the season with NESCAC rival Tufts, the Polar Bears jumped out to a big lead early and pulled away from the Jumbos for a 66-48 victory. Bowdoin held Tufts to 3-for-13 shooting while seven players scored for the Polar Bears in the first quarter, staking them to a 20-8 lead at the end of one period. Tufts whittled the lead down to six early in the third quarter but Maddie Hasson scored a layup and two free throws to put the Polar Bears back up by ten, 41-31. Later in the quarter, Lydia Caputi tracked down an offensive rebound and kicked the ball to Kate Kerrigan for a three that pushed Bowdoin's lead back to double digits 44-33. Bowdoin put the game away with a flury of three pointers by Taylor Choate and Lauren Petit, outscoring the Jumbos 13-0 to start the fourth quarter.
Bowdoin outrebounded the Jumbos 46-30 and held them to 29 percent shooting (17-for-58). Taylor Choate, who was the defensive stopper in Friday night's win over Scranton, sparked the Polar Bears' offense with 18 points and three assists. Melissa Baptista scored 18 points on 8-for-22 shooting in her final game at Tufts.
Recap continues below video
Thomas More avenged its loss to Hope in last season's NCAA Tournament by ousting the Flying Dutch in DeVos Arena, 72-57. Madison Geers' jumper gave Hope a 32-30 lead in the opening minute of the third quarter but the Saints responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead for good. Layups by Abby Owings and Emily Schultz extended Thomas More's lead to eight, 51-43, early in the fourth quarter and the Flying Dutch never recovered.
Madison Temple and Owings combined for 43 points on 15-for-31 shooting for Thomas More (30-1). The Saints also converted 21 Hope turnovers into 27 points. Thomas More's win sets up a rematch of the 2016 national semifinals between the Saints and Amherst, which Thomas More won on its way to a national championship.
That remains Amherst's last loss as the Mammoths stormed to their 64th consecutive win and eighth trip to the national semifinals in 10 years with a 62-38 victory Rochester. The Mammoths outscoured the Yellowjackets 36-16 in the paint and held All-American center Alexandra Leslie to no points on four field goal attempts in 37 minutes. Amherst's 12-0 run midway through the first quarter put the Mammoths in front for good and Amherst held Rochester to 14 points in the second half.
Rochester got 15 points for Lauren Deming and 12 from Lena Athington but 11 from everyone else. Four Amherst starters scored double figures led by Emma McCarthy with 18. Hannah Fox notched a double-double for the Mammoths (31-0).