SALEM, Virginia — Maddie Hasson poured in 25 points and Abby Kelly added 21 to lead the Bowdoin College Polar Bears by the University of St. Thomas 71-60 in an NCAA Division III semifinal on Friday.
The Polar Bears, now 31-1, advanced to Saturday night’s national championship against the winner of Friday’s late semifinal between Thomas More and Scranton.
The victory set a program record for wins by Bowdoin, which is competing in its second straight Final Four and third in school history. Bowdoin is seeking its first national title.
Bowdoin shot 45.5 percent (25 of 55) from the field, including 33 percent (4 of 12) from 3-point land while also converting a pivotal 73.9 percent (17 of 23) of its free throws.
The Polar Bears held the Tommies to a 41.5 percent (22 of 53) effort from the field while St. Thomas hit 7 of 20 3-pointers (35 percent) and 9 of 14 free throws (64.3 percent).
Hannah Spaulding paced St. Thomas with 17 points, Lucia Renikoff added 12 and Kaia Porter netted 11.
The Polar Bears enjoyed a 37-29 rebounding edge, led by Dorian Cohen’s nine boards.
Taylor Choate chipped in 14 points, three steals and five rebounds for Bowdoin while Moira Train contributed 11 points. Hasson and Kelly also each grabbed six rebounds.
Bowdoin surged to a 33-25 halftime lead, but St. Thomas cut the margin down to 49-45 entering the fourth quarter.
Two free throws by Kelsie Cox and a layup by Spaulding tied the game at 49 with 8:02 remaining.
Another Spaulding layup, followed by a Renikoff 3-pointer gave the Tommies a 54-49 edge with 7:30 left but Bowdoin went on a 10-2 scoring surge, capped by a Train conventional three-point play for a 59-56 lead with 4:52 left.
The Polar Bears would never trail again as four free throws from Hasson and two by Choate in the final minute secured the victory.