Tournament dreams died Friday night for the University of Maine at Farmington and Maine Maritime Academy. Bowdoin College used a pair of patented second-half runs to avoid a first-round nightmare. And the University of Southern Maine gets an extra night of choppy sleep to ponder its playoff future.

Ranked No. 21 in the current D3Hoops.com national poll, UMF bowed out of the NCAA Division III tournament with a resounding 90-66 loss to No. 15 Brandeis at Jean Yawkey Center in Boston. Conference rival Maine Maritime watched a seven-point lead slip away in the last 12 minutes and fell 61-51 to Keene State at Brunswick.

No. 1 Bowdoin salvaged state bragging rights for the evening, as expected, with a 74-57 victory over Mount Holyoke. The Polar Bears (27-1) will host Keene State (22-6) today in a second-round game at Morrell Gymnasium. Tip-off is 5 p.m.

Opening-round action in the Gorham bracket was postponed a day due to Friday’s storm. Norwich meets Fitchburg State at 1 p.m. today, immediately followed by Southern Maine against Williams. The winners face one another at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Farmington’s most successful season in school history ended at 25-4 with a first-round loss for the second straight year. Brandeis (20-5) rarely missed in the first half on its way to an insurmountable 49-23 edge. The Judges went 8-for-13 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half, while the Beavers sank only 1-of-10 from long range. Brandeis connected at a 57 percent clip from all distances prior to intermission.

Jaime Capra erupted for 33 points on 12-for-17 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point land, for Brandeis. Kiersten Holgash was perfect from the floor on her way to 12 points. Lauren Orlando added 10 points, Alison Chase had nine, and Caitlin Malcolm coupled her six points with 11 rebounds.

Kari Simpson scored 19 points for UMF to conclude her record-setting career with 1,772 points. First-year forward Caitlin Laflin added 15.

Brandeis hit seven of its first 10 tries from the floor to open a 16-10 lead. After a bucket by Karen Sirois for the Beavers, the Judges rattled off eight straight points to make it 30-16 with seven minutes left. They finished the half with a 19-4 march.

Bowdoin led by only two points at the half, 34-32, before successfully christening its quest for a sixth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight. The Polar Bears went on a 10-2 run after the break, featuring seven points from Jill Anelauskas and three Eileen Flaherty free throws.

Mount Holyoke held its ground and pulled within seven at 57-50 on a 3-pointer by Joeanna Silvey with 4:39 left. Bowdoin made a 7-0 push to put it away, triggered by one of Julia Loonin’s four 3-pointers and punctuated by Flaherty with two free throws and a lay-up.

Flaherty finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds for Bowdoin. Anelauskas and Loonin added 14 apiece, while Leah Rubega chipped in 10. Alexa Kaubris of Rumford started the game and registered three points and two assists for Bowdoin.

Silvey shot a scorching 12-of-13 and scored a game-high 30 points to go with four steals for Mount Holyoke (21-8).

The only team to defeat Bowdoin during the regular season, Maine Maritime led 44-37 with 11:47 to go in its quest for another crack at the Polar Bears before Keene State seized command. Michele Boudreau’s jumper gave the Owls a 48-47 lead with 5:45 remaining.

A second-half injury to senior Julia Knights slowed the momentum for the Mariners, who shot 6-of-27 from the field in the final 20 minutes. Maine Maritime (25-4) also committed 24 turnovers in its third straight NCAA first-round defeat.

Alyssa Burns of Dixfield led Maine Maritime with 14 points and eight rebounds. Winthrop’s Rebecca Moore contributed nine points and Shelley Gott-Stilwell chipped in eight points and a team-leading 10 boards. Bri Barnes scored 17, Sarah Begnoche 16 and Caitlin Jamiel 10 for Keene State, which avenged a double-overtime, Dec. 31 home loss to Maine Maritime.


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