Sports

Men’s and women’s basketball look to use pre-season momentum in NESCAC play

By Joseph Jensen ’15

While many students took January off, Hamilton basketball remained hard at work. As of now, both the men’s and women’s teams havewinning records. They have both played close to a third of their seasons while the rest of campus was away.

The men currently hold a 10-6 record behind a breakout season from Joe Lin ’15. Lin leads the team with 15.5 points per game and has a team leading 25 steals on the season. His 102 career steals also leads the NESCAC. Lin also  won NESCAC Player of the Week for the week of January 12. During that time he averaged 21.5 ppg and 11 steals. He also set the school record for assists in a game with 16.

Another reason for the Continental’s success is Ajani Santos ’16 who is a strong force in the middle as his 28 blocks is fourth in the conference.  The third major player for Hamilton is senior Peter Kazickas who is putting up solid 9.2 ppg and a field goal percentage of .516. As a team the Continentals lead the NESCAC in steals per game with 8.7 while their 4.8 blocks per game put them in second place. It is clear that defense is a crucial aspect of the men’s success. This was clear on Jan. 4th, they were able to defeat Hobart while scoring only 46 points.

Though the men have hit a slump they will look to bounce back against NESCAC opponent Williams at home on Jan. 24th. Williams is currently tied for fifth in the NESCAC. This is one of six remaining NESCAC games.   The women have a record of 9-7. They had a decisive win over break against Trinity, winning by a score of 60-50. They had a close loss to another NESCAC opponent falling to Colby by a mere two points. The team leader is Sam Graber ’16. She leads the conference in both defensive rebounds and total points with 293. Another strong performance this season has come from Samantha Srinivasan ’18 often off the bench and puts up 7.9 ppg behind Graber for the team. Theresa Salud ’17, Lauren Getman ’18, and Caroline Barrett ’17 round out the top players, putting up 7.7, 6.8 and 6.3 points per game respectively. Barrett also leads the team with 50 assists.

This team has struggled to score of late, but if they get back to their usual scoring totals they should be in good shape. Similar to the men, they have six more games again conference opponents.

Neither team can win by the outstanding play of one player alone. The NESCAC has nationally ranked teams, meaning wins are hard to come by. Offense and defense will need to be honed, but the Continentals have proven ready for the challenge in front of them. 

The women are actually just two wins away from matching their win total from a year ago, with a minimum of seven games to play. The Men are only four games away from tying their total from last year and they would only have to win half of their remaining games. These games do not include the NESCAC Championship, which if the teams qualify could create up to three additional games.  It will be important for both teams to see success against conference opponents as only the top eight teams in the NESCAC advance to the championship tournament.

The women’s team has only three home games left, all three of which are against NESCAC opponents. The men’s team, on the other hand, has four home games left, three of which are against conference opponents.

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