Women’s Basketball Falls in NESCACs, Will Play in NCAA Tourney
Issue   |   Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:22

This past Saturday, Amherst squared off against Bowdoin in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament. Despite three Jeffs scoring in double figures, the team was not able to come back from a strong run by the Polar Bears in the first half. After the first five minutes of play, Bowdoin gained momentum as they took the lead for good.

The Polar Bears went into the half with a 43-22 lead, outshooting the Jeffs 53.1 percent to 30.8 percent from inside and 80 percent to 10 percent from downtown.

The second half told a very different story. Amherst outscored Bowdoin in the second half 44-31 through first-year Hannah Hackley’s 13 points, sophomore Meredith Doswell’s 14 points and junior Marley Giddins’ 10 points. Jackie Nagle ’18 pulled down five rebounds and Ali Doswell ’17 dished out six assists to help fuel the fire. However, it wouldn’t be enough. Bowdoin’s Shannon Brady put up 22 points followed closely by Marle Curle with 19 to help the Polar Bears hold on to their lead.

Despite the loss, Amherst’s season continues. The team earned one of the 20 bids to the NCAA tournament, which features 64 of the best Div. III women’s basketball teams in the nation.

Amherst will travel to New York University to face the Eagles of Eastern University, who after finishing 22-5 on the season, are heading to the tournament for the first time in their program’s history.

After Amherst’s name was announced during the live broadcast of the selection show, the hosts commented on Amherst’s head coach G.P. Gromacki’s prowess in the NCAA tournament.

“They have quite a coach over there at Amherst, huh?” one host asked the other.

Since joining the program in 2007, Gromacki has led Amherst to seven NCAA tournament appearances and one national title in 2011. Gromacki looks to make it two this year as Amherst makes their eighth appearance in the tourney under his incredible leadership.

Gromacki has made earning an NCAA bid the norm for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors in his program. However, for the first-years, the tournament is a new and exciting experience.

“We just watched the draw online and couldn’t be more excited to be part of March Madness this year. It’s a privilege having the opportunity to play for a potential national championship, and I can’t wait for the journey with my team,” said Hannah Hackley ’18.

The journey begins this Friday as the Jeffs kick off their NCAA tournament run in New York City.