Colby College's Ainsley Burns scored the game-winning basket with 43 seconds left and the Mules posted a 56-55 NESCAC win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Colby's Wadsworth Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton (10-7, 0-5 NESCAC) was 6-for-8 at the free-throw line, committed just two turnovers and capitalized on 14 second-chance points. Halie Serbent '19 grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and added 16 points and two assists. Marie Steiner '20 and Kelcie Zarle '22 dropped in 13 points apiece, and Carly O'Hern '20 collected seven boards and dished out four assists.
Burns helped lead Colby (7-11, 1-5) with 24 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Katie McCrum tallied 22 points and nine boards, Jane MacKerron grabbed nine rebounds and Sarah Hancock had a game-high six assists with seven caroms.
Behind the perfect shooting efforts by Steiner (4-of-4) and Zarle (3-of-3) in the third quarter, the Continentals erased a 12-point halftime deficit. Steiner began the quarter with back-to-back layups with help from a steal by Liz Arnold '22, making the score 33-25 at 9:09. Colby responded with two straight 3-pointers and Hamilton answered with an 11-4 run that started with a Zarle layup at 7:34 and ended at 4:55 with a layup by Steiner, cutting the deficit to seven points at 43-36. Zarle went for the steal at 2:06 and banked in a layup to cut Colby's lead to 46-40 and Arnold followed with a layup at 1:15 to make the score 47-42. Zarle drilled a downtown jumper with 31 seconds left off a feed from Arnold and the Continentals entered the final quarter down just 47-45.
The teams combined to make just three baskets through the first five minutes of the fourth quarter before Serbent sunk back-to-back 3-pointers with O'Hern picking up both assists. Serbent's first three got Hamilton within a point at 51-50 with 4:18 on the clock, and her second at 3:28 gave the Continentals their first lead since midway through the first quarter. Colby immediately took back the lead on a McCrum 3-pointer at 3:01 that made the score 54-53. Kayla Glemaud '21 brought down a huge defensive rebound with 1:32 left, allowing head coach Mahogany Green to call a timeout. Serbent found Zarle coming out of the timeout for a one-point lead at 1:13 and Burns rolled in the last basket for the win. O'Hern picked up a steal in the final seconds that allowed Serbent to throw up a last-second shot attempt.
The first quarter had four ties and four lead changes. The last basket of the quarter came at 2:22 when Colby's Burns made a 3-pointer that gave the Mules a 13-10 lead. Zarle opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer at 9:12 after Arnold grabbed an offensive board and found her classmate outside the arc. The home squad countered with 12 unanswered points off three 3-pointers and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Burns for a 25-13 lead at 5:58. The Mules gained their largest lead at 15 points on a MacKerron layup with 30 seconds left, but Mackenzie Aldridge '20 closed the first half with a 3-pointer and pulled Hamilton within 33-21.
Hamilton returns home to Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Tuesday, Jan. 29 for a non-conference game against Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at 7 p.m.