ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick earned its first win of 2019 and its first in the Empire 8 Conference on Friday night with an 82-55 victory over Houghton College at The Nielsen Center. The result snaps a five-game winless streak for the Hawks and improves their overall record to 5-8 overall and 1-3 in the league. Houghton falls to 1-12 and 0-4.
The Hawks would make only 35% from the floor in the first half, but they made 55% from the field on 17-of-31 shooting in the second. 'Wick connected on just four shots from downtown (4-of-18) in the opening half, but put on a shooting display from the outside in the second making nine out of 16 (56%) from deep.
Six Hawks were in double figures led by Sam Hanley (Cranston, RI/Cranston East), who had 13 points. Hanley would make 4-of-6 from the floor including 3-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc in the second half alone. Tommy Kelly (Niskayuna, NY/Niskayuna) added 12 points for the Hawks and Brandon LaForest (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes), Kyle Bradshaw (Tinton Falls, NJ/Brookdale CC), and Justin Carruthers (Greenwich, NY/Greenwich) each had 11 points. Pat Garey (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) finished with 10.
Neither team would lead by more than six points in the opening 18 minutes in a tight first half. The two teams traded leads twice with five tie scores before a Carruthers' layup with four and a half minutes remaining in the first stanza would put Hartwick up for good. The Hawks would finish the half on an 11-4 run. Back-to-back old fashioned three-point plays from Carruthers and Kelly got the rally started with a three from Kelly, two free throws from LaForest, and a Hanley bucket closing it out and Hartwick led 33-25 at the intermission.
Carruthers led the way for Hartwick in the first half with eight points. Kelly and Garey each had six.
LaForest started the second half off with a three as 'Wick started on an 8-1 run to grab a 41-26 lead. Later, the Highlanders would cut their deficit to eight points before the Hawks began to heat up. 'Wick would make its next five shots, which included two straight threes from Bradshaw and one from Bobby Connors (Rockville Centre, NY/Chaminade) for a 60-43 edge at the 8:40 mark. Less than three minutes later, another Bradshaw triple pushed the margin to 22.
Eighteen points would be as close at Houghton would get the rest of the game. Hanley would make a trio of treys in a 1:37 span and a Garey three just after that gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the night, 82-52, with under a minute left to play.
Connors finished as the Hawks' top rebounder with 10. He also netted seven points. Austin Haskell (Kirkwood, NY/Susquehanna Valley) also scored seven points and he had five boards. Garey had six rebounds and three three-pointers with his 10 points. Bradshaw had six rebounds and three shots from downtown, and LaForest knocked down a pair from the outside.
Jordan Holmes led all players with 23 points for Houghton. Scottie Berghaus contributed 11 points, and Akil Grampus grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Hartwick looks to make it two in a row tomorrow as it visits Alfred University at 4 p.m.
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