ITHACA, NY – In a game carrying playoff implications for the Hartwick men's basketball team, the Hawks fell 92-77 at Ben Light Gymnasium Saturday afternoon to host Ithaca. The Bombers used nine scorers, six in double-figures, to complete the season sweep of the Hawks and move to 8-15 and 4-10 Empire 8. 'Wick drops to 15-8 and 8-6 in league play.
Both teams traded points in a fairly balanced attack in the onset of the game. Ithaca went ahead for the largest margin for either team, 41-33, with 1:33 before the break but would settle upon a seven-point advantage at the horn.
Adam Kleckner's ten points led all scorers at the recess while Jake Sinicki's (Endicott, NY/Maine-Endwell HS) nine was the high for the Hawks.
Sinicki asserted himself over the second half's first three minutes as the Hawks scored seven unanswered points to level the playing field, 46-46. The junior fought on the defensive glass resulting in easy takes to the cup for Brandon LaForest (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes HS) and Joey Lufkin (Argyle, NY/Argyle Central).
Justin Pratt (North Kingstown, RI/North Kingstown HS) settled on a pull up three nearly a minute later for the Hawks' first lead since the 6:18 mark. Unfortunately, on the ensuing possession, Riley Thompson also hit from deep snowballing an 8-0 run by the home team for a 59-51 lead.
Marc du Moulin (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) was able to finish in the paint and a bucket down low for Lufkin had Hartwick only down six, but it would be short-lived as IC charged a double-digit deficit to the Hawks a little over a minute later, 66-55 (10:35).
Fast-forward to 6:14 remaining and IC tacked on its second 8-0 surge on the backend of Corey Baker (Granby, MA/Granby) splitting a pair at the line. After Baker's free throw brought his team back within six, the Bombers swiftly answered with the run to move ahead 81-67 and held a considerable margin the rest of the way.
Lufkin ended with a team-high 21 points and five assists. LaForest and Pratt chipped in with 16 and 14 respective points. Sinicki supplied 12 points, seven boards and three assists.
Off the bench, Peter Ezema logged a double-double made up of 15 points and 14 boards to pace the Bombers. Thompson supplied 14 points while Matt Flood and Klechner tallied 11 and 10 respectively.
Today's loss, coupled with Utica's victory at Alfred, puts the Hawks and Pioneers in a tie in the Empire 8 standings at 8-6. Two games remain for both teams with the fourth and final seed in the conference playoffs up for grabs.
Hartwick will wrap up its regular season at home, hosting Nazareth and St. John Fisher. The Golden Flyers visit Lambros Arena first on Friday, February 17 for an 8 p.m. meeting.