Hamilton can't hold on at No. 15 Rochester
The Hamilton College Continentals led by 11 points midway through the third quarter, but the University of Rochester Yellowjackets rallied for a 59-49 non-conference win at Rochester's Louis Alexander Palestra on Tuesday afternoon.
The nationally ranked No. 15 Yellowjackets (10-1 overall) won their fifth straight game. Hamilton (4-7) has dropped four in a row as the Continentals head into their first weekend of NESCAC competition.
Halie Serbent '19 led Hamilton with a season-high 15 points and added three steals. Kendall Rallins '19 filled the stat sheet with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Rallins is sixth in the NESCAC with 3.6 assists per game.
Kate Bushell '17 chipped in a career-best 11 points and grabbed seven boards in 25 minutes off the bench for the Continentals. Rylie Mainville '18 also ended up with seven rebounds as Hamilton held a 43-38 edge on the glass. Sam Graber '16, who leads the team with 18.8 points per game, did not play due to an injury.
Rochester's Alexandra Leslie led all players with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Lauren Deming added 12 points and four steals, and Sarah Kaminsky handed out five assists. The Yellowjackets scored 25 points off 27 Continental turnovers.
Hamilton scored the first five points, led for nearly the entire first half and took a 28-25 advantage into the break. The Continentals continued to put pressure on the nationally ranked hosts early in the third quarter as Hamilton went on an 11-3 run and Rochester mustered just three free throws in the opening four minutes of the quarter.
Rallins' old-fashioned three-point play with 6:06 left in the third gave the Continentals a 39-28 cushion. At that point the Yellowjackets picked things up on defense and Hamilton made just three baskets in the final 16 minutes.
Rochester ended the third quarter with a 16-5 spurt as Leslie scored eight of the points. A 3-pointer from the top of the key by Deming forged the game's fifth tie at 44-44 just before the end of the period. The Yellowjackets took the lead for good with a 15-4 run during the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.
Leslie got things started with a layup and Bushell's basket in the paint gave the teams their sixth and final tie score of the afternoon. Another basket from beyond the arc by Deming put Rochester ahead to stay at 49-46 with 8:31 remaining. Leslie followed with a jumper before a Rallins layup pulled the Continentals within three again.
The Yellowjackets clinched the win with eight straight points after Rallins' bucket. Kayla Kibling started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Tylar Guerrieri nailed a 12-footer from the right baseline and Kaminsky's trifecta from the right wing gave Rochester its largest lead at 59-48 with 3:19 to go. The Yellowjackets made 5 of 11 shots from long range and went 9-for-10 at the free-throw line in the second half. Hamilton shot 25 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
The Continentals host Connecticut College on Friday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m.