The Hamilton College women's basketball team built an early lead over Utica College and they never retreated for a 52-40 victory at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Monday evening.
The Continentals (4-0 overall) were perfect from the charity stripe through the first three quarters, and finished at 76.2 percent for the game.
Marie Steiner '20 shot a career-best 6 of 7 from the floor for a team-high 13 points coming off the Hamilton bench. Halie Serbent '19 notched 12 points and eight rebounds. Lauren Getman '18 tallied 10 rebounds, nine points, three steals and two blocks. Samantha Srinivasan '18 recorded a game-high 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
Ashley Mayo scored a game-high 16 points for Utica (2-2) and added four steals. Ashelyne Babb dropped 10 points and Alaina Tripp added nine rebounds.
Getman gave Hamilton the early lead with a three-point bucket to open the game. Tripp quickly responded for Utica, but the Continental defense held the Pioneers scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter. Getman recorded seven of her nine points in the opening quarter alone, guiding Hamilton to a 15-2 advantage after the first.
Hamilton narrowly outscored the visitors 10-9 through the second quarter to maintain the double-digit lead. Srinivasan went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line in the final eight seconds to give the Continentals their largest lead of 16 points at 25-9. Hamilton had a 25-11 advantage at the half following a final-second layup by Utica's Briannah Florian.
The third quarter was an even battle until Tripp started a 6-0 run for Utica with 3:36 left, but Steiner stopped the momentum shift with a bucket from downtown. Serbent followed with four unanswered points and Hamilton led 41-26 at the end of three.
Mayo attempted a comeback for Utica when she opened the final quarter with eight unanswered points, including two three-pointers. Getman took control with a layup and a quick steal, finding Serbent for the easy basket that gave Hamilton an 11-point edge halfway through the fourth. The Pioneers clawed their way back to within seven points with 1:10 left, but the Continentals closed out the night with five free throws in the final 31 seconds for the victory.
Hamilton travels to Morrisville State College (1-3) on Friday, Dec. 1 for a non-conference game against the Mustangs at 5:30 p.m.