The Pipers jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening two minutes of the game before the Royals cut their deficit to one-point, 7-6, a minute later.
A Jackie Kelly (Jr., Blaine, Minn.) three-pointer from the bench side of the arc, followed by a layup from Mary Wilkowski (Jr., Savannah, Ga.), allowed the Pipers to go up by six, 12-6 within the next 60 seconds.
Hamline controlled the tempo through the opening ten minutes, holding an 11-point lead, 21-10, at the midway point of the half. Hamline went on to gain a 16-point lead at 31-15, but the Royals began to chip away at the score. Bethel ended the half on a 15-3 run as the teams headed into the locker room with Hamline ahead by four, 34-30.
After the break, the Royals scored the first four points of the half to tie the game at 34-34. Hamline regained a two-point lead on a pair of Wilkowski free throws, but it was the last advantage on the scoreboard that the Pipers would hold.
Bethel shot nearly 47 percent in the second half after shooting just 34 percent in the opening 20 minutes, while the Pipers shot 39 percent in both periods of play.
Taylor Sheley (So., Backus, Minn.) had 17 points to lead Bethel. Shana Grejtak (Jr., Franklin, Minn.) and Kristen Wolters (Sr., St. Cloud, Minn.) had 16 apiece. Gretjak was one of two Royals with a double-double, adding 10 boards to her stats. Scotti Moats (Fy., Waconia, Minn.) finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Wilkowski had a double-double for the Pipers on 14 points and 12 rebounds. Kelly had a game-high 22 points, while Nikki Klinck (Jr., Hibbing, Minn.) had 13 points and Stephanie Robinson (So., Sioux City, Iowa) added 10.
The conference loss moves the Pipers to 5-4, 3-3 MIAC. The Royals are 2-7, 1-5 MIAC. Hamline hits the road to take on Saint Mary’s on Wednesday, January 5, at 7:30 p.m. to continue conference play.