Hamilton holds on to top Utica 67-65
The Hamilton College women’s basketball team fought back to win its second straight game, rallying to beat visiting Utica 67-65 Monday at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
The Continentals (2-2 overall) trailed by six points early in the fourth quarter but closed the game on a 16-8 run and withstood Utica’s attempt at a game-winning three-point basket at the buzzer.
The win was the 150th in the overall coaching career of Hamilton’s Michelle Collins who is now in her fourth season with the Continentals. Her overall mark, which includes seven seasons at SUNY Oswego, is 150-112.
Sam Graber ’16 and Lauren Getman ’18 both recorded double-doubles for the Continentals, who beat the Pioneers for the eighth time in the last nine meetings.
Hamilton, who led by 10 points in the game’s opening minutes, faced its biggest deficit 1:28 into the final quarter when Utica’s Mary Miceli hit a three-point basket to put the visitors up 57-51. The Continentals scored the next six points to tie the game, pulling even when Carly Gruenberg ’16 picked off a pass at midcourt and drove the lane for an uncontested lay-up.
The lead changed hands four more times with Hamilton going up to stay on a short jumper by Getman with 3:17 left. A three-point play by Graber on their next possession pushed the Continentals’ lead to 66-62 before Utica’s Ashelyne Babb hit a three-point basket to pull the Pioneers to within a point. After a Gruenberg free throw gave Hamilton a two-point lead with 16 seconds remaining. The Pioneers fumbled away a pass at the top of the key with six seconds left, leading to a desperation heave by Miceli that Graber blocked to seal the win.
Miceli led all scorers with 28 points; her three-point basket that gave Utica its biggest lead put her over the 1,000-point total for her career.
Getman’s 18 points were a career-best total. She added a game-high 11 rebounds to notch her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. She and Graber both collected a career-best three blocked shots as the Continentals finished with a season-best team total of eight.
Graber finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four steals (one short of her personal best) and three assists. She's recorded 18 double-doubles in her career. Gruenberg scored 13 points and Kendall Rallins '19 contributed a team-leading five assists.
Hamilton opened the game on a 12-2 run, holding Utica without a basket until 5:05 into the first period.
Kate Bushell '17 collected seven points and six rebounds off the bench for Hamilton. Her six rebounds (one shy of her career high) helped the Continentals to a 48-31 advantage on the boards.
Babb scored 10 points and led Utica with six rebounds and four assists. She contributed a pair of free throws and a three-point basket in a 13-7 run that the Pioneers used to turn a 44-all tie late in the third quarter into their 57-51 lead (Miceli scored the other eight points in the stretch).
Hamilton held the visitors to three of 11 shooting from the floor and forced six turnovers in the final 8:32.
The Continentals host Union in a 7 p.m. non-conference game Wednesday.