CLINTON, N.Y. – In a game of 18 lead changes and 16 ties, No. 5 Amherst women's basketball was stunned by Hamilton, 56-55, handing the Mammoths their second league loss in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action on Saturday night at the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
Just their third setback and second in conference, Amherst moves to 16-3 (3-2 NESCAC) and will have a five day break before returning to the hardwood when they battle Wesleyan (Conn.) on the road at 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 31st. Hamilton improves to 12-6 and 2-3 in NESCAC play.
Things looked promising off the jump as Amherst put together a quick 7-0 run to take the early lead. Liz Arnold broke the four-minute scoring drought before Carly O'Hern netted one from beyond the arc to inch closer to the Mammoths in the opening stanza.
Amherst went up 11-7 off a layup from Dani Valdez '22, but Hamilton scored five unanswered points to take their first lead on the afternoon and enter the second quarter up 12-11.
Leading the Mammoths 16-11, Hamilton couldn't increase their lead as a three from Cam Hendricks '20 brought the visitors back to within two. Trading baskets in the waning minutes of the first half, the Continentals entered the break up two points (22-20).
Increasing their lead to seven in the first minute and a half, Hamilton looked to pull away but Amherst answered by going on a 9-0 run to regain the lead, including four points from Courtney Resch '22. Fox followed up with an and-one to put Amherst up 36-33 with 1:17 remaining in the third.
After trading free-throws, Emma Sehring knotted the game at 37-37 with 26 seconds remaining, making things all square heading into the final period of play.
The lead for either side never grew bigger than three points in the final 10 minutes. With the game even at 46 apiece, Madeline Eck '20 scored on consecutive possessions to place Amherst up one with 3:23 remaining in the game.
Arnold drove to the basketball and scored before a jump shot from Carly O'hern gave the Continentals a three point lead with 1:36 left in the game. Hendricks answered with a pivotal and-one to tie things up at 53, but Kelcie Zarle hit a clutch three with 38 seconds remaining to give the home side the advantage for good.
Resch scored to make it 55-56 and the Mammoths forced a turnover to secure the final possession of the game, but a layup from Fox at the buzzer rimmed out, solidifying the Continentals win.
Amherst had three players that tallied 10 points, respectively, as Fox led with a game-high 14 points and seven rebounds. Maggie Shipley '23 and Eck dished out four dimes each, while Resch finished with six boards and two blocked shots. Eck also ended with three rebounds and three steals.
The Mammoths shot 35.0% from the floor and 13.3% from downtown, scoring nine fast break points and scoring 38 of their points in the paint. Holding a 14-9 advantage in assists, Amherst also notched 14 points off turnovers.
The Continentals held a 37-33 edge in rebounding and won the bench battle with 11 points to Amherst's four. Hamilton shot 35.7% from downtown and 40.7% from the field.