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NESCAC Championship Game
Bowdoin 64    Tufts 48

At Brunswick, ME
Sunday, February 25, 2007

Game Statistics
Khalilah Ummah had 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the NESCAC championship game

BRUNSWICK, Me. -- Bowdoin College pulled away from Tufts University in the second half to win its seventh straight NESCAC women's basketball championship, 64-48, on Sunday afternoon. The Polar Bears (26-1) receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Tufts (18-8) will hope for an at-large berth into the NCAAs, which will be announced later tonight.

The game was much tighter than the final score indicates. After a sloppy opening 10 minutes, the teams settled into the game. Tufts was up five points, 21-16, after a three-pointer by senior guard Valerie Krah (Mountain Lakes, NJ) with 1:48 to go until halftime. Bowdoin tied it at 21-21 on a three-pointer by Julia Loonin and a lay-up by Eileen Flaherty, but Tufts took a 22-21 lead into halftime on a free throw by junior Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, ME) with 16 seconds left.

Krah had 10 points at the half for the Jumbos, including two three pointers, while Ummah had five points and four rebounds. Flaherty led the Polar Beras with nine points, while Loonin and Katie Cummings had five apiece. Tufts had a 22-16 advantage on the boards in the first half.

The Polar Bears, who have won every conference tournament since it was initiated in 2001, took the lead in the second half and would not let go. Baskets by Taryn Miller-Stevens (Avon, CT) and Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, MA) had Tufts up, 26-22, but Bowdoin surged to a 32-27 lead at the 15-minute mark with Loonin hitting a three-pointer and a lay-up. They would not relinquish that lead.

After Tufts pulls to within one (32-31) on hoops by Ummah and sophomore Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, CT), the Bears opened the margin to six points, 37-31 on a three-pointer by Sabrina Cote at 11:55. With another three by Alexa Kaubris, the hosts went up by eight, 41-33, at 10:39. The Bowdoin lead was seven points, 44-37, when Tufts made a push. The Jumbos pulled to within two points on a traditional three-point play by Ummah and a jumper by senior co-captain Laura Jasinski (Leverett, MA) that made it 44-42 with 6:44 left in regulation. However, that would be the last momentum of the game for the Jumbos.

Kaurbis answered with lay-up, and Flaherty brought the margin to 47-42 at the free throw line. Consecutive baskets by Leah Rubega put the Bowdoin lead at 51-42 with 4:25 on the clock. That 7-0 spurt ignited the Polar Bears, and a Flaherty three-pointer and another lay-up by Rubega gave the Berars a double-digit margin at 56-44 with 3:09 left. Bowdoin was money at the free throw line down the stretch to lock up the title.

Flaherty led Bowdoin with 19 points, including 10 at the free throw line. Four Polar Bears finished in double figures, with Loonin adding 13, Kaubris 12 and Rubega 12. After shooting 29.6 percent in the first half (8/27), the Polar Bears were 12 for 18 (66.7 percent) in the second half. Rubega finished with nine rebounds and Cummings had five assists.

Krah led Tufts with 13 points and Ummah added 12 to go with seven rebounds. Miller-Stevens finished with seven points, four rebounds and three assists, while Gomez had seven point and three rebounds.