Basketball teams remain confident near middle of conference play

By Gregory Nabhan ’18

Coming off a tough four-game skid, men’s basketball was ready to face last year’s national championship runner up, Williams. Although the Continentals were 10-4 on the season going into Saturday’s game, they were winless in conferance play. 

Fueled by an enthusiastic crowd, the Continentals trailed nearly the entire game only to overtake Williams in the fourth quarter. Team scoring leader Joe Lin ’15 and captain Peter Kazickas ’15 had stellar games leading the comeback.

After Lin fouled out in the final minutes, the Continentals capitalized on final opportunities as Jack Dwyer ’18 filled in.  He and Kazickas both hit two key free throws before the buzzer to seal the deal and put the game out of reach. 

“It came down to toughness,” said Kazickas on the comeback.  “Once we stop making small mistakes, fix all the mental errors and really play tough, we can beat any team in the league.” 

Commenting on the team’s previous NESCAC losses Coach Adam Stockwell said, “It was great to see the respond and just get over that hole.  We had a lot of Hustle plays that really made a difference in the end.”

Nearing the end of the regular season, Coach Stockwell saw the game as pivotal going forward.  “To have so many guys contribute and get a hard fought win coming from behind with a great crowd in NESCAC play is a great start.”

Hamilton followed up with a decisive win over Keystone on Monday as they looked primed for their final stretch of NESCAC opponents. 

On the women’s side the team currently sits at 1-4 in the NESCAC.  Starting 1-1 with a loss to Amherst and a strong win against Trinity, the Continentals then slipped with a three-game losing streak to Colby, Bowdoin and Williams.  

While Amherst, Bowdoin and Williams all played Hamilton as nationally ranked top 15 teams, losing to Colby 45-47 proved particularly heartbreaking. “We outplayed them in two of the three major facets of the game. Defensively we did a terrific job against them as well as rebounding!  Unfortunately, we couldn’t make open shots and finish well down the stretch,” said Coach Michelle Collins.

Fortunately, Coach Collins maintains hope for her team, spearheaded by captain Sarah Graber ’16. “Graber has had an outstanding season thus far… she leads the team in scoring, is third in rebounding and 7th in steals.  She is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached.”

In preparation for their final NESCAC round of games, Graber believes Albany College of Pharmacy will provide good practice where the team needs it most saying, “Albany should help us firm up our offense against the zone.”

Further ahead, Tufts looks to be the toughest matchup coming in February as the Continentals look to end their season on a high note.

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