By: Eli Canfield, Staff Writer
The Huskies were down just 10 at halftime, but were outscored 48-23 in the second half and topped by the Bowdoin Polar Bears Nov. 19th, in a cross-conference matchup at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham.
Abi Ramirez (Junior, Business), Jackie Luckhardt (Senior, Athletic Training), Kristen Curley (Junior, Marketing), Morgan Eliasen (Junior, Nursing) and Victoria Harris (Sophomore, Athletic Training) started for USM against a tough Bowdoin squad out of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) that lost in the Division III National Championship last season.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a fast 8-2 lead with a quick four points apiece from Sela Kay and Maddie Hasson, but the Huskies quickly cut the lead to 8-6 to stay in the game early with four early points from Harris. Seven minutes in, Bowdoin held a 16-6 advantage. Two jump shots from Curley cut the lead to 16-10, but Samantha Roy of Bowdoin answered with an and-one to bring the lead back to nine. The Huskies got a layup from Megan King (Freshman, STEM with Elementary Education) with five seconds remaining in the first, which ended with a score of 19-12 Bowdoin.
The second quarter didn’t have much scoring through the first few minutes, but the Polar Bears kept attacking the basket. After more points from Hasson and a bucket from Dorian Cohen, Harris made a layup, Luckhardt drilled a three, and Audrey Pohl (Sophomore, Media Studies) made a layup to bring the lead back down to eight. After a Husky timeout, Ramirez got a couple of buckets, to answer some Polar Bears’ threes, and Bowdoin took a 35-25 lead into the halftime break.
Ramirez and Harris led the Huskies with six points each at the half, followed by Luckhardt with five and Curley with four. Bowdoin’s Hasson tallied 10, Cohen had eight and Moira Train had seven.
The second half was a different story with the Huskies struggling on the offensive end. Bowdoin outscored USM 25-6 in the third quarter, and 48-22 overall in the second half.
The Polar Bears started the quarter on a 15-0 run through the first five minutes mainly due to a barrage of threes from Kay, and Samantha Roy also drilled a three of her own. Kay had 14 points in the third quarter, including four made threes. Ramirez scored four points in the quarter, coming on a layup and a couple of made free throws. Michelle Rowe (Sophomore, Nursing) got two of her four total points at the end of the quarter, but it was all Polar Bears at that point as they took a 60-31 lead into the final quarter of the game.
The fourth quarter was much of the same. The Polar Bears dominated in the paint and the Huskies struggled to find an answer. Rowe got another bucket, and Harris made a couple of free throws, before Brittney Desjardin (Freshman, Business) got her first and only bucket of the game. Both teams emptied their benches about halfway through the end of the final quarter. King drilled a three, and Katie Howe (Sophomore, Marketing) made a couple of free throws with about four minutes remaining in the game. The Polar
Bears got a couple more buckets in the end, and Mary Toman (Junior, Nursing) made two pairs of free throws before the game ended with a final score of 83-47.
Kay finished with a game-high 18 points, followed by Hasson who finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and five steals, and Cohen who had 11 points and six rebounds.
Ramirez had a team-high 10 points for the Huskies, also finishing with four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Harris was the second-leading scorer, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots. Luckhardt, King, and Toman all had five points apiece, with Luckhardt also having three steals. The Polar Bears outrebounded the Huskies 45 to 27, including 17 to 8 on the offensive end. The loss dropped the Huskies to 3-2 on the year at the time, while the Polar Bears improved to 2-0 on the young season.
This was a tough matchup and the Huskies played well, keeping with Bowdoin for a majority of the first half and proving they can compete with practically anyone when playing their best.