University of Mary Washington center Liz Hickey was one misstep of her 6-foot-3 frame away from fouling out of Saturday night’s NCAA Division III women’s basketball regional final. One fraction of a second too late in planting her feet on defense. One finger connecting with an arm instead of the ball.

Bowdoin College is still waiting for that whistle. And the Polar Bears will have to wait at least one more year for their chance at a national championship.

Playing aggressively and alertly with four personal fouls, Hickey scored nine points in the final 11 minutes of regulation. That explosion inspired resurgent Mary Washington, which completed its rally from an 11-point deficit and banished Bowdoin, 64-59, at Long Center in Scranton, Pa.

Hickey finished with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting for Mary Washington (30-2), which advanced to the Final Four and a Friday semifinal game with DePauw University in Springfield, Mass.

The Eagles avenged a 62-54 loss to Bowdoin in last year’s Sweet 16 round at Gorham.

Lisa Tracy, a 6-1 senior guard, added seven of her 11 points in the second half for Mary Washington.

Debbie Bruen, Katy Larson and Amanda Bates each scored eight points and Leigh Kampman six. Those four combined for 22 of their 30 after intermission.

Foul trouble haunted Mary Washington early but bit Bowdoin (29-2) at the end.

Jill Anelauskas led the Polar Bears with 18 points, including two 3-pointers, before fouling out with 1:09 remaining in regulation. Kampman hit a free throw in that exchange to make it 60-59, giving the Eagles their first lead since it was 11-9.

Bates sank two free throws with 24 ticks to go and Tracy swished another pair with seven seconds showing.

Julia Loonin, Katie Cummings and Alexa Kaubris each missed a desperation 3-pointer in the final minute for Bowdoin, which hit only one field goal in the final 8:18.

Eileen Flaherty’s free throw with 2:50 to go was the final point for the Polar Bears. The All-American from Fairfield, Conn., scored 15 points in her final game for Bowdoin.

Maine will not have a representative in the Final Four for the first time since 2003. Bowdoin lost in the 2004 title game. Southern Maine won the third-place game in 2005 and dropped the final last March.

Kaubris, a sophomore from Rumford, scored nine of her 12 points in a brilliant stretch that helped Bowdoin counter Mary Washington’s initial second-half run.

Bowdoin led 31-22 at the half. Flaherty twice pushed that margin to 11 points with a 3-pointer and a jumper from the right elbow.

Bates knocked down a 3-pointer for Mary Washington, but it was sandwiched among a put-back and four straight free throws from Kaubris. The Dirigo High School product’s second set from the stripe restored the edge to double digits at 44-34.

Hickey acquired her fourth foul and retreated to the bench with 13:14 remaining. When Kaubris knocked down a 3-pointer and then wrestled away an offensive rebound to keep Bowdoin’s next possession alive, Mary Washington coach Deena Applebury wasted no time returning Hickey to the floor.

The Eagles cut their deficit to five on three separate occasions before back-to-back baseline buckets by Hickey made it 56-54 with six minutes left. Hickey’s baseline jumper tied it at 59 near the two-minute mark.

Anelauskas scored seven points in the first half before picking up two fouls. First-year reserve Leah Rubega spelled the sophomore off the bench with nine points, including seven in the last 3:16 before halftime.

Flaherty also notched nine in the half. Bowdoin spotted Mary Washington early leads of 4-0 and 11-9, but the Polar Bears scored seven unanswered points and ultimately entered the locker room on a 22-11 surge.

Although Bowdoin committed only 13 turnovers, the Polar Bears cooled to 7-for-26 from 3-point range after an 11-for-20 outburst in the semifinal against Rochester. Overall, Bowdoin went 21-for-60 (35 percent) from the field.


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