Bates College's Julia Middlebrook scored 11 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter and the Bobcats posted a 60-52 NESCAC win over the Hamilton College Continentals at Bates' Alumni Gym on Friday night.
Three players scored in double figures for the Continentals (10-8, 0-6 NESCAC). Halie Serbent '19 led the way with 12 points, Carly O'Hern '20 scored 11 and Marie Steiner '20 added 10. Liz Arnold '22 and Mia Caterisano '19 tallied seven points and five rebounds apiece, and Kelcie Zarle '22 served up three assists.
Meghan Graff also scored 16 points for Bates (10-10, 2-6). Ariana Dalia totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Melanie Binkhorst chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
The teams started the fourth quarter deadlocked at 44. Graff and Middlebrook combined to score all of the Bobcats' points in the final quarter as they outscored Hamilton 16-8. Middlebrook's opening layup at 9:02 was the final lead change of the contest. Hamilton tied the score at 46-46 with an O'Hern layup at 7:12 and again at 48-48 with an Arnold layup at 5:01. Middlebrook immediately followed with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 54-48 Bates lead with 3:03 left. Hamilton cut its deficit to two points after Serbent went 2-for-2 at the charity stripe and Steiner hit a midrange jumper with 1:47 remaining. Bates finished the contest with six unanswered points.
The Bobcats wrapped up the opening quarter with an 18-13 edge. Hamilton took a narrow 9-8 lead at 5:55 when O'Hern hit two free throws and followed with a 3-point jumper. Bates scored four straight points and took back the lead at 12-9. Caterisano got Hamilton back within a point twice with layups at 3:14 and 2:02.
Both teams scored six points in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Hamilton then fired together an 8-0 run and took a 27-24 advantage. Serbent started the streak with a layup off a dish from Steiner and Arnold tied the score at 24-all with a downtown jumper at 4:18. Caterisano dropped in a layup, drew the foul and sunk her free throw to take the lead at 2:29. Graff and Serbent exchanged 3-pointers at 2:09 and 1:46, respectively. Bates held a 32-30 halftime edge after another 3-pointer by Middlebrook at 1:24 and a layup by Graff with 37 seconds remaining.
There were three lead changes and four ties in a tight third quarter. Steiner hit a 3-point jumper at 8:30 for a 33-32 Continentals lead. Serbent rolled in a layup, drew the foul and swished a free throw to take the lead again at 36-34 with 7:09 on the clock. Bates came back to tie the score with jump shots at 5:22, 4:43, 2:47 and one second to go.
Hamilton remains on the road for another NESCAC game at nationally ranked No. 3/4 Tufts University on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. in Medford, Mass.