Hamilton men's basketball drops NESCAC opener at Bowdoin

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Andrew Madlinger '14 scored a game-high 23 points and Bowdoin College used a strong second half to defeat Hamilton College 64-51 in a NESCAC game at Bowdoin's Morrell Gymnasium on Jan. 4.

Bowdoin (7-2 overall, 1-0 NESCAC) shot 50 percent in the second half, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. The Polar Bears improved to 5-4 all-time against the Continentals.

Madlinger was 5 of 9 from long range and made all four free-throw attempts. Bryan Hurley '15 and Maximilian Staiger '13 each scored 12 points. Hurley also recorded a game-high seven assists, added three steals and was 4 of 5 from 3-point range. John Swords came off the bench to lead the team with six rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.

Bradley Gifford '15 scored all of his team-high 12 points in the first half for Hamilton. Greg Newton '14 chipped in 11 points and Matt Hart '16 grabbed a season-high nine rebounds. Peter Kazickas '15 and Ken Click '13 came off the bench to record three steals and two blocks, respectively.

"Bowdoin played with great composure and shot the ball well," head coach Adam Stockwell said. "We did not, and saw firsthand that our attention to detail needs to improve to reach our potential."

Hamilton (7-6, 0-1) jumped out to a 9-3 lead less than four minutes into the first half. Gifford paced the Continentals with seven points. During the next five minutes, Bowdoin went on a 10-2 run to take its first lead at 13-11 with 11:14 left. Hurley and Madlinger drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Polar Bears their lead.

The Continentals answered with nine straight points to go up 20-13. The spurt was capped by Gifford's second trifecta. Bowdoin responded with a 9-2 spurt on four points by Staiger, a 3-pointer by Madlinger and two free throws by Keegan Pieri '15 to knot things up at 22-22.

With Hamilton trailing 26-25, Hart knocked down a shot from long range to give the Continentals a 28-26 edge. But Madlinger answered with his third 3-pointer of the half to give the Polar Bears a 29-28 lead at the break.

Eric Benvenuti '13 nailed a shot from long range to open the second half and put Hamilton back in front 31-29. Madlinger scored Bowdoin's next nine points as part of a 12-2 run, and Bowdoin regained the lead for good at 41-33.

Hamilton climbed within five points at 43-38 after Kazickas hit two free throws with 12:19 remaining. The Polar Bears used a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 52-38. Following a Jack Donnelly '16 3-pointer that cut the Continentals' deficit to 57-45, Bowdoin scored seven unanswered for its largest lead of the night at 64-45.

The Polar Bears held a slight advantage in rebounding at 37-34, but their 12 offensive boards led to 21 second-chance points. Bowdoin made 55.6 percent (10-18) of its 3-point shots.

Hamilton continues its NESCAC road swing with a trip to Colby College on Sunday, Jan. 6.