Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain Peace Kabari (Manchester, N.H.) scored nine of her team-high 22 points in the final two minutes to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a dramatic 60-57 victory over the visiting Connecticut College Camels in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women’s basketball action this afternoon at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity, which improves to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the NESCAC with its fourth win in a row, trailed, 55-47, with two minutes left but closed the game with a 13-2 run. Trinity, which had beaten Connecticut College, 60-38, in New London in a non-conference game on December 5, visits Massachusetts College tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Camels plays at NESCAC rival Williams on Friday at 7 p.m. in their next game.
Connecticut matched its largest lead of the game at 55-47 with 2:06 remaining in the final quarter on two free throws by junior forward Casey Walsh (Phoenixville, Pa.). Kabari answered with two free throws at the 1:46 mark, and the Trinity defense came up with back-to-back steals on a full-court press to pull within one at 55-54 13 seconds later. Bantam rookie Bria Fuller (Springdale, Md.) stole the first pass and quickly fed Kabari for a layup, and sophomore guard Bailey Hyland (Broad Brook, Conn.) stole the ball again and converted on an old-fashioned three-point play.
After a Camel miss, Kabari got fouled, made one free throw, rebounded her own miss on the second try and scored inside to give Trinity a 57-55 lead with 51 seconds on the clock. Trinity sophomore center Elizabeth Althoff (Staten Island, N.Y.) made a key block on a drive by Connecticut College co-captain Sami Ashton (Clinton, Conn.), and Fuller made one of two free throws for a 58-55 Bantam lead. Ashton scored on a drive in the final 10 seconds, but Kabari knocked down two more from the charity stripe and Ashton’s running trey attempt from the top of the key fell well short as time expired.
The game was close and low scoring early with Trinity leading, 11-8, after one quarter and, 29-21, at halftime. The Bantams went ahead, 19-12, with 7:16 left in the second quarter on a drive by first-year guard Madison Stevens (Burlington, Conn.), and increased their lead to double digits on two Hyland free throws with 1:49 left. Camel senior center Nancy Coulverson (Queens, N.Y.) scored inside late to make it an eight-point game at the break.
The Camels came out strong after intermission and led, 36-33, when senior forward Dana Muckstadt (Dover, Mass.) capped off a 12-4 run with a pair of free throws with four minutes left in the third quarter. Trinity scored the next seven points and led, 40-36, after two Fuller foul shots, but Connecticut College scored the last three points before the final break. A Hyland free throw made it, 43-41, in the home team’s favor three minutes into the fourth stanza, but Ashton and sophomore teammate Claire Gulbin (Wilton, Conn.) combined for all 11 points of a 12-2 run that put the Camels ahead, 53-45, at the three-minute mark
Trinity overcame a 30.5 percent shooting percentage from the field and made just one three-pointer in nine attempts. The Bantams outrebounded the Camels, 45-30, forced 18 turnovers, and made 23 free throws in 32 tries (71.9%). Kabari was 6-for-12 from the floor and 10-for-15 from the foul line for her 22 points, and added 10 boards. Hyland finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Althoff notched eight points, six rebounds, and three blocks. Ashton led all scorers with 24 points and added 10 boards but committed eight turnovers. Gulbin scored 11 points, while Muckstadt registered five rebounds and five assists.