Women’s basketball misses playoffs but has strong potential for future success

By Robert Berk ’20

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Women’s basketball finished their 2016-2017 campaign last Saturday. They finished the season with a 10-12 record. That is a two-win improvement on last season. It is even more impressive when one considers that the team played two fewer games this year than last. Their winning percentage last year was .333 but jumped up over a hundred points to .455. 

One of the highlights of the season was a stretch in which the team won five consecutive games. After a couple close losses at the Williams Classic and to SUNY Polytechnic, the Continentals earned their first win of the season against Utica College. The Continentals were only up two at the half, but took control down the stretch and won by nearly 20 points. The final score was 64-46, and Lauren Getman ’18 put in a game high 28 points. The next game was a tight victory at Union, 61-55. The game was close throughout, but Hamilton was able to hold on. Getman had a double-double and Mackenzie Aldridge ’20 totaled 21 points. The next two games were a pair of blow-outs. The first was a whopping 64-27 victory over Bard, which was the Continentals first win in the Margaret Scott Bundy Field House. The second was a 91-52 thrashing of Cazenovia College in which four of Hamilton’s athletes scored double-digit points. A close victory against Alfred University closed out the win streak. Halie Serbent ’19 led the way with 18 points.

After returning to campus from break during the first weekend of the New Year, Hamilton earned their first NESCAC win. They were away against Wesleyan College: it was a thrilling game. The Wesleyan Cardinals had the lead the entire first half and were up by 16 in the third quarter. However, the Continentals roared back, going on a 13-0 run to get back into the game. The game went back and forth the rest of the way. The Continentals got just their second lead of the game with five minutes left to go in the fourth quarter; their first lead was right off the tip-off two to nothing. Carly O’Hern ’20 led the Continentals in scoring, contributing 11 points off the bench. Hamilton’s depth was a key reason for this victory. They outscored the Cardinal bench 22-9. 

Hamilton’s two other conference wins were also close, competitive games. The Continentals had a come-from-behind win over Middlebury. The Panthers were up 27-22 at the half; however, they could not stop Hamilton’s offense in the fourth quarter. The team totaled a very impressive 27 points in just that one quarter. A key reason for this success was their efficiency. They shot eight of 16 from the field and made all of their free-throws count, hitting nine of 11, including a clutch performance in the last minute of the game in which they hit seven out of eight. They took the lead by going on a 13-2 run that completely stunned the Panthers. The Continentals were dominant on the glass, grabbing 37 rebounds to Middlebury’s 29. The following weekend, Hamilton had another thrilling victory. Before the game, the team honored Caroline Barrett ’17 and Kate Bushell ’17 as a part of senior weekend. They beat Colby 60-53. The Continentals were trailing for the majority of the game before going on an eight to zero run to close out the fourth quarter. Barrett contributed 11 points. Getman dominated in the paint, putting together her third double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. These two players, Barrett and Getman, scored 17 of the team’s 19 fourth quarter points. 

The future is very bright for this Hamilton squad. The top six leading scorers are all returning next year and three of them are first-years. Four of the five leading rebounders are also returning for the 2017-18 season. Getman lead the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game and tied for the lead in rebounds, tallying 5.7 per game. She will be back for what should be a big senior season next year. 

This season was a success as the team improved and gained experience, but make sure to look out for even better things from this group next year. 

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