In a matchup of two of the Empire 8 Conference's top teams, the St. John Fisher College men's basketball team lost to host Hartwick College 78-66 on Friday night.
Fisher came into the contest riding a seven game winning-streak in addition to holding first place in the Empire 8 standings, while the Hawks were only one game behind. With Friday's loss, the Cardinals are now 11-4 overall and 5-1 in Empire 8 play. Hartwick has improved to 11-5 overall and 6-1 in conference games after the win.
Although the game was decided by a double-digit deficit, much of the contest was closely contested as Fisher held the lead for the majority of the first half before Hartwick took over in the second frame.
In the first half, the Cardinals trailed 8-7 early on before Tyler Hart hit a 3-pointer to put Fisher up 10-8 with 15 minutes remaining in the half.
Over the next 11 minutes the two teams would battle back-and-forth to a 22-22 tie with 4:11 left before intermission. That was when Fisher went on a 6-0 run behind four-straight points from Zach Ottaway to take a 28-22 advantage. The Cardinals would hold the lead until halftime as they found themselves up 30-26 at the break.
The second half is when the game turned in Hartwick's favor as the Hawks began the half on an 18-5 run to go ahead of Fisher 44-35 with 12:50 remaining.
Although the Hawks led by seven points with only nine minutes remaining, the Cardinals managed to fight back. A 7-2 run capped off by a Tyler English layup pulled Fisher within two-points at 58-56 with 6:50 left in the contest.
That was as close as the Cardinals would come to catching Hartwick however, as the Hawks scored the next four points and 20 of the last 30 points as Fisher fell by 12 points.
Hart led the Cardinals with 17 points while knocking down five 3-pointers. The senior also tallied eight rebounds and four assists.
Keegan Ryan recorded his seventh double-double of the season after scoring 10 points and hauling in 13 rebounds while Tyler Farrell chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds.
English also contributed 10 points, four boards and three assists in the contest.
The Cardinals will return to action at 6 p.m. on Wednesday when they travel to Alfred University for an Empire 8 matchup.