Middlebury College took its first lead near the end of the third quarter and outscored Hamilton 23-15 over the last 12 minutes for a 53-44 NESCAC win on Friday night at Middlebury's Pepin Gym.
Lauren Getman '18 led all scoring with 16 points with two 3-pointers and she grabbed seven rebounds for the Continentals (14-9, 2-7 NESCAC). Samantha Srinivasan '18 scored seven of her 10 points in the first half and collected eight boards and three steals. Halie Serbent '19 brought down a team-high nine rebounds and Mia Caterisano '19 chipped in six points.
Catherine Harrison led Middlebury (17-6, 6-3) with 13 points and Sabrina Weeks had 10 points and four steals. Maya Davis and Colleen Caveney both tallied seven rebounds. Davis scored nine points, Caveney had seven points and three assists, and Lily Kuntz blocked three shots.
Marie Steiner '20 (game-high four assists) and Caterisano scored four points apiece to help Hamilton jump out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter. The Continentals had a 7-4 advantage 2:36 after the opening tip when Steiner grabbed her own offensive rebound and banked the ball into the basket to start an 8-0 Hamilton run. Srinivasan made a layup off a Steiner steal and Caterisano ended the run with back-to-back layups that made the score 15-4 at 1:42. Hamilton gained its largest lead of 12 points when Rylie Mainville '18 hit a mid-range jumper with 1:07 left before Harrison banked in a layup with 36 seconds remaining to complete the scoring in the opening stanza.
Middlebury opened the second quarter with six unanswered points that started with a Harrison layup. Kuntz added a layup and Davis went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to cut Hamilton's lead to 17-13 at the 6:15 mark. The Panthers got within three points at 3:06 after Kaufman went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line. Srinivasan responded with a three, Steiner followed with a steal, and Serbent added two points off a feed from Kendall Rallins '19 to gain back an eight-point advantage at 24-16 with 1:44 remaining. Caveney made both free throws with 1:08 to go and pulled Middlebury within 24-18 at the half.
Getman opened the third quarter with a bucket from deep range to give Hamilton a nine-point advantage at 27-18, but Middlebury outscored Hamilton 14-2 in the following eight minutes. Kaufman hit a 3-point jumper at 3:33 to give the Panthers their first lead at 30-29, and Betsy Knox hit a jumper to give Middlebury a 32-29 edge at 1:41. Srinivasan hit her second trey of the night with one minute remaining to get Hamilton back within a point at 34-33. Middlebury added three points in the last seconds of the third for the 37-33 lead.
Getman and Caterisano drew Hamilton back within one point at the 8:02 and 6:44 marks of the fourth quarter, but Middlebury outscored Hamilton 12-4 in the last five minutes, and captured its largest lead of 11 points at 53-42 after two free throws by Weeks.
Hamilton travels to Williams College on Saturday afternoon for its final regular season game at 3 p.m.