A low-scoring first half saw a stretch of more nearly three and a half minutes from 14:43 and 11:18 on the clock without a score. A pair of points for either team led to another three minute stretch interrupted by just a short jumper.
Ultimately Bethel led by three, 20-17, at the break.
The first basket of the second half came at 16:34 as Ayana Hicks (Fy., Saint Paul, Minn.) drained a jumper to bring the Pipers to within one. Jessica Englund (So., St. Francis, Minn.) gave Hamline their first lead of the second half, 25-24, at 14:16.
After another three minutes of up-and-down play without a basket, Bethel made a pair of free throws to go back ahead, 26-25, at 11:29. Their lead was short-lived as Jackie Kelly (Jr., Blaine, Minn.) scored just seconds later.
The teams traded ties and leads until the Pipers gathered the advantage for the final time, 35-33 on a shot from Kara Poirier at 4:17. With Hamline up by just one in the final minute, Poirier added four points to secure the 45-40 victory.
Wilkowski finished with a double-double with 11 points and the same in rebounds. Englund had eight points and Poirier tallied seven. Wilkowski and Englund each had two blocked shots.
The conference win moves the Pipers back to .500 overall with a 10-10, 7-9 MIAC record and the Royals fall to 8-12, 7-10 MIAC. The Pipers return home at Hutton Arena to host Gustavus on Saturday, February 6, at 1:00 p.m. The game will be the first in a women’s-men’s double-header.