Bates College women’s basketball coach Alison Montgomery gives instructions to her team during a Nov. 2021 game against University of Maine at Farmington at Alumni Gymnasium in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Bates College coach Alison Montgomery was named one of 13 finalists for the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, which was announced by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday.

In her seventh year at the helm, Montgomery is a finalist for the WBCA Coach of the Year for the first time after leading the Bobcats to an 18-8 season and their first ever NESCAC tournament championship. 

Montgomery led Bates to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season, where the Bobcats beat Roger Williams in overtime in the first round. Montgomery led the team to its best winning percentage (.692) since 2004-05 and junior captain Meghan Graff was named the NESCAC Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American.

Named in honor of college basketball’s all-time winningest coach, the Pat Summitt Trophy is presented annually to the WBCA National Coach of the Year in each of the five membership divisions.

This year’s WBCA National Coach of the Year is New York University’s Meg Barber. The Violets defeated the Bobcats in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced all the way to the Elite 8 before falling to eventual national champion Hope College.



BATES 7, CENTRE 6: Maggie Hillwig doubled to right-center, sending Lindsey Kim home with the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to give the Bobcats their first win of the season Tuesday, beating the Colonels in Clermont, Florida.

Bates turned in a 13-hit attack and winning pitcher Danielle Polirer went the distance.

The Bobcats erupted with three runs in the third inning and were holding to a 4-0 lead when Centre College piled up six runs in the bottom of that frame.

But Bates rebounded with a run each in the fourth and sixth innings to tie the game at 6-6. Kennedy Ishill’s (three hits) triple brought home Janell Sato with the run in the fourth and Grace Householter scored on Cassidy Musco’s groundout to second base in the sixth.

BATES 5, CHICAGO 4: Aleah Pagan’s two-RBI double highlighted a four-run second inning as the Bobcats (2-4) edged the Maroons in Clermont, Florida.

Rachel Liazos singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth and collected two of Bates’ six hits. Maggie Hillwig had a hit and a run while also pitching a complete game.

Savannah Pinedo had two hits to lead University of Chicago (4-4).

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