Strong Fourth Quarter Propels Women's Basketball Past Hamilton

Erica Junquet '19 came up clutch down the stretch as the Bantams knocked off Hamilton, 63-58 on Friday night
Erica Junquet '19 came up clutch down the stretch as the Bantams knocked off Hamilton, 63-58 on Friday night

Hartford, Conn. - Despite trailing after three quarters of play, a fourth quarter comeback pushed the Trinity College women's basketball team past the Hamilton College Continentals, 63-58, on Friday night at Oosting Gymnasium in Hartford. Trinity improves to 12-9 overall and 3-6 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) while Hamilton falls to 10-11 on the year and 3-6 in league play. After tonight's slate of conference action, five teams now hold a 3-6 NESCAC record heading into the final weekend of league action.

Sophomore guard Erica Junquet (Monroe, N.J.) went flying into the scorers table, knocking a loose ball off the leg of a Hamilton player out of bounds to give the Bantams possession with 47 seconds left, as Trinity went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds to ice the game. Junquet was one of four Bantams in double figures, led by sophomore Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) who had a game-high 22 points and six boards. Junior Aubree Udell (Chester, N.J.), sophomore Becky Reifler (Garden City, N.Y.) and Junquet all tallied ten points for Trinity while sophomore Erin Cunningham (Wilton, Conn.) added eight points and four rebounds off the bench. First-year Peace Kabari (Manchester, N.H.) helped ignite the team's late run with stingy defense as she finished with six rebounds, a steal and a multiple deflected passes.

For Hamilton, Carly O'Hern (Jamesville, N.Y.) paced the offense with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting Lauren Getman (Manlius, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Continentals shot just under 50% from the floor in the first half but struggled in the second half to the tune of 30% from the field. Trinity was plagued by turnovers but limited Hamilton's production off the giveaways, allowing just eight Continental points off mistakes.

Hamilton led, 14-8, after the first quarter of play, led by O'Hern who scored seven points as the Bantams were carried by Erickson who had six of the team's eight points. Things picked up in the second quarter as the two teams combined for 43 points, 23 of which belonged to the hosts as Trinity chipped away at the deficit to make it a 34-31 ballgame at halftime. 

Both teams traded blows early in the third quarter before a Samantha Srinivasan (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) three-ball, followed by O'Hern's final bucket of the game at the 6:14 mark, opened up a seven-point lead for the visitors. Out of a 30-second timeout, the Bantams responded with back-to-back buckets from Reifler, followed later by a triple from Cunningham to make it a 47-45 game entering the final quarter.

Erickson opened the fourth quarter scoring just a minute in, with a pair of free throws to tie the game. Neither team could find the bottom of the net for four minutes until Junquet drove to the hoop with the shot clock winding down and converted a gutsy layup to put Trinity up two. Hamilton responded at the other end with a three-pointer by Mackenzie Aldridge (Mystic, Conn.) to reclaim the lead however Udell made a layup on the following possession to put the Bantams back up by one. Not to be outdone, Continental senior captain Kate Bushell (Darien, Conn.) scooped a layup in for Hamilton to put the Continentals up, 52-51 with 4:39 to go. 

With Hamilton leading, 53-51, and 2:47 to play, Cunningham came up with a huge steal on the defensive end which led to a layup on the offensive end by Erickson to tie the game. Halie Serbent (Killingworth, Conn.) responded with a short jump-hook for Hamilton to take back the lead but Udell connected on her second triple of the night on the ensuing possession. A pair of free throws by Cunningham with 1:22 to play extended Trinity's lead to three before Junquet came up clutch with a hustle play to ensure the victory. Still up three, Erickson came away with a steal for Trinity but missed a jumper on the offensive end of the floor that created a loose ball scramble. With the ball rolling towards the scorers table, Junquet came flying in to knock it off of a Hamilton player and out of bounds, keeping possession with Trinity with just 47 seconds left. The sophomore followed that up by sinking a pair of free throws after a foul off the inbounds to open up a five-point lead, which wound up being the difference.

After the game, the Bantams welcomed Laura Robichaud, the newest member of the Trinity women's basketball team, through their Team IMPACT draft ceremony. Laura took photos with the team following her press conference and was given a Trinity basketball uniform.