’Wick Steps Up in Second Half to Beat Elmira, 71-65, in E8 Opener

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ELMIRA, NY – In its first outing in two weeks, Hartwick pulled out a 71-65 win over long-time rival, Elmira College for both teams' first Empire 8 assignment on Tuesday night. At Speidel Gymnasium, the Hawks picked up their sixth straight win (8-2) to start 1-0 in the E8. The Soaring Eagles, unable to end their six-game skid, fall to 2-8 and 0-1 in conference.

'Wick is now 46-26 all-time against Elmira and with 72 encounters featuring the two, only three teams have seen the Hawks more.

Despite rebuilding its lead to as many as seven with a little over five minutes remaining in the first half, the Hawks surrendered a 7-0 run shortly after for a 24-all score. Elmira again knotted the score with just 56 ticks left in the first, 27-all, before allotting Hartwick a slim two-point advantage, 31-29, heading for the locker room.

EC's Hayden Harkins led all scorers at the break pouring in nine first-half points on 3-of-6 shooting. Harkins would finish as just one of two double-figure scorers for the home team with 19. Justin Porrett was the other representative adding 15 points (6-of-8 shooting).

However, it would be the two-man scoring tandem of Brandon LaForest (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes HS) and Jake Sinicki (Endicott, NY/Maine-Endwell HS) to help finalize the score in the Hawks' favor. Though Elmira tabbed the largest lead of the contest by any team, up eight at 11:40 and again replicating that gap at 10:14, 52-44, LaForest and Sinicki registered a 26-13 run between them to ultimately put the game away.

LaForest tied his season-best with 27 points, while also adding seven boards, five dimes, two blocks, and two steals to his collection. Sinicki finished with a near double-double with 25 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

Ned Bakic (Garfield, NJ/Garfield) and Marc du Moulin (Altamont, NY/Guilderland HS) earned seven and four points, respectively, while du Moulin also grabbed eight boards.

As a team, 'Wick shot 49 percent from the floor (24-for-49 shooting), went 35 percent from long-range (7-for-20) for the game, and hit 5-of-9 of its shots from downtown in the second half. Elmira finished at 37.7 percent from the field (26-of-69) and 22.2 percent from three (8-of-36).

The Hawks continue their tour heading to Utica on Thursday, January 5 for an 8 p.m. tip-off.