Polar Bears Fall To Wilmington In NCAA Title Game as "Magical Season" Comes To An End
Story posted March 20, 2004
It truly was a magical season for the Polar Bears (30-1), who reached their first-ever appearance in an NCAA Championship game without dropping a single contest until Saturday. Bowdoin sets the school mark for wins in a season and fewest losses, while collecting numerous honors and their first national number one ranking.
The final was close throughout, but Tara Rausch's game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds proved to be the difference in the end, in addition to some timely free-throw shooting from the Quakers. Wilmington connected on 15-of-23 from the free-throw line, while Bowdoin was only awarded only six free-throw attempts in the entire game.
That being said, Bowdoin led 28-23 at the break and led by as many as nine with 9:29 remaining before Wilmington began to rally. Rausch scored 10 points in a 14-5 Lady Quaker run to tie the game at 51 with 2:28 left. Samantha Hood then hit a 3-pointer to put Wilmington up three with just under two minutes remaining and the Polar Bears could not pull any closer.
Bowdoin was held scoreless the final four minutes of the game until Eileen Flaherty hit a jumper with 24 seconds remaining to make it 58-53. Wilmington outscored Bowdoin 26-18 in the paint and outrebounded the Polar Bears 51-38.
Flaherty ended with 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Lora Trenkle added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds to close out what might be considered the best career ever for a Bowdoin player. Trenkle and her senior teammates Courtney Trotta, Lindsay Bramwell, Kristina Fugate and Beth Damon leave a high standard of excellence in their wake, accumulating an incredible 103-14 record, including four straight NESCAC Championships and a 11-5 mark in NCAA play- including this year's first-ever Final Four appearance.
Trenkle was named to the All-Tournament team and was honored on Saturday as being named a first-team All-American by D3Hoops.com.
BOX SCORE WILL BE POSTED ON BOWDOIN WEBSITE WHEN AVAILABLE
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