Date Posted:10/08/2003,  2:00PM

Women's Basketball Honored With Academic Award

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Over the past three seasons, the Bowdoin College women's basketball team has established themselves as one of the top teams in the nation, accumulating an impressive 73-13 record. Apparently, the Polar Bears have been excelling off the court as well, as they ranked 21st on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) 2002-2003 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll released on Wednesday.

The awards recognize the nation's highest team grade point averages (GPA) for the 2002-03 season based upon nominations submitted by WBCA-member coaches. Out of 417 DIvision III schools that sponsor women's basketball, Bowdoin ranked 21st with a cumulative team GPA of 3.342. Bowdoin was the only NESCAC school on the list and was one of four schools to make this list and qualify for the NCAA Tournament (Messiah, Hardin-Simmons, Baldwin-Wallace).

"It incredible to see the GPAs each Top 25 team produces year in and year out," said Beth Bass, the Chief Executive Officer of the WBCA. "These teams set a precedent among student athletes and deserve to be recognized for their accomplishment. Congratulations!"

Bowdoin has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons, and has won three straight NESCAC Championships- the only team to have won the crown since round-robin play began in 2000-2001.

"It's great the WBCA recognizes the academic efforts of our athletes with the Honor Roll," says head coach Stefanie Pemper. "Bowdoin is a wonderfully challenging academic institution and I'm proud of our players' abilities to balance their intellectual interests with their strong commitment to our team."