Women's basketball wins on last-second free throws
Hamilton College's Sam Graber '16 made two free throws with 4.1 seconds left and lifted the Continentals to a 69-67 non-conference win against the Buffalo State College Bengals at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Dec. 12.
The Continentals (7-3 overall) pushed their win streak to five games and are a perfect 4-0 at home this season. Buffalo State's record dipped to 3-4.
Graber posted her fifth double-double in 10 games with 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. She is averaging a double-double so far this season with 19.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Graber leads the NESCAC in scoring.
Serena Ward '16 provided a spark off the bench for Hamilton with four 3-pointers and a career-best 16 points. Lauren Getman '18 recorded the first double-double of her collegiate career with 11 points and a season-high 14 boards. Theresa Salud '17 chipped in nine points and Caroline Barrett '17 handed out six assists.
Hillary Kollar '15 paced the Bengals with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brittnee Perry '16 added 14 points and Olivia Luciani '15 dropped in 13. Buffalo State shot just 29.5 percent, including 4 of 17 from 3-point range, and went 17-for-31 (54.8 percent) at the free-throw line. The Bengals grabbed 26 offensive rebounds.
The Continentals led 39-32 at the break and extended their advantage to a game-high 15 points at 55-40 on a Samantha Srinivasan '18 layup with 14:23 remaining. Hamilton still led by nine points at 65-56 after a layup by Graber with 5:50 to go.
Buffalo State roared back to take the lead with an 11-0 run. Jordan Yastremski '16 started the spurt with two free throws and Niasha Houpe '18 and Luciani made back-t0-back layups. Luciani went 1-for-2 at the line, Perry made two shots at the charity stripe and Keyonte Edwards '18 capped the run with a layup that made it 67-65 with 2:07 left. The lead was the first for the Bengals since 11-10 midway through the first half.
On the next possession, the Continentals missed a 3-pointer but Srinivasan grabbed the offensive board and was fouled. She made both free throws and forced the fourth tie score of the night at 67-67 with 1:42 remaining.
Both teams missed layups and then Buffalo State misfired from beyond the arc but Houpe was there on the offensive glass. The Bengals ran the clock down but just before the shot clock expired, Srinivasan came up with a steal and raced to the other end with 13 seconds to go. She found Graber on the fast break and Graber was fouled going in for the layup. She made both free throws but Buffalo State still had 4.1 seconds to do something. The Bengals drove the length of the court and didn't get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
Hamilton owned the largest lead of the first half at seven points on three occasions. Leading 31-30 late in the second half, Salud made the first of two free throws and Ward buried a 3-pointer. Salud sank a pair of shots from the stripe for a 37-30 advantage with 2:27 left. Edwards cut Buffalo State's deficit to five points with two free throws before Ward drained a jumper for the seven-point halftime margin. The Continentals canned six 3-pointers in the first half.
Hamilton is off until a non-conference home game against Clarkson University on Saturday, Jan. 3. The Bengals return home to face Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, Dec. 13.