Bowdoin College took control early with a 17-2 run in the first quarter and advanced to the NCAA Division III women’s basketball championship game with a 90-62 win over Wartburg in the national semifinals on Friday night in Rochester, Minnesota.

Bowdoin will try to win its first NCAA championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday against conference rival Amherst, the defending national champion.

Abby Kelly paced the Polar Bears with 23 points, including two 3-pointers during the early surge that gave Bowdoin (29-2) a 24-8 lead. Kelly had 19 points in the first half and finished the game with five 3-pointers.

Kate Kerrigan, who was named national Division III Player of the Year this week by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Lauren Petit scored 16 points and Taylor Choate added 12.

Bowdoin shot 49.3 percent from the floor and was 10 of 25 (40 percent) from 3-point range. Wartburg shot just 39.3 percent from the floor.

Katie Sommer led Wartburg (31-1) with 16 points, five assists and four steals.


This marks the second time Bowdoin has advanced to the NCAA D-III championship game. The Polar Bears lost to Wilmington (Ohio) in the 2004 final.

Amherst (32-0) extended its winning streak to 65 games with a 66-48 victory over Thomas More in the other semifinal Friday night.

The Mammoths defeated Bowdoin, 49-45, in Amherst, Massachusetts, on Jan. 27 during a NESCAC game in the regular season.

Saturday’s game will be the second consecutive all-NESCAC NCAA final. Amherst defeated Tufts in last year’s title game.

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