ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick kept its winning streak intact on Saturday as the Hawks fought off a tough Houghton squad for a 69-66 victory. Houghton's Cori Beck hit a game-tying three-point basket with 0.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Sarah Shaw (Franklin, MA/Franklin) then nailed a pair of threes with a rebound, a blocked shot, and a steal in the extra session to propel the Hawks to the victory.
Hartwick improves to 9-5 overall, which already matches last season's win total. The Hawks are also 6-0 in the Empire 8, just one win short of tying the best start to a conference season in program history, which was achieved in both 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Caitlin Corbett (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) and Emily Stone (Granby, CT/Granby) led the way for the Hawks combining for 38 points, seven boards, seven assists, and a 19-for-21 (.905) performance from the free-throw line.
Corbett had 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Stone was perfect from the line (11-for-11) and added three assists and two boards.
Shaw would finish the game with eight points, five rebounds, and three steals, including the big overtime period. Jacqui Foreman (Tolland, CT/Tolland) contributed nine points and eight rebounds. Carly Johnson (Greenville, NY/Greenville Central) netted eight points and added four rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal.
Hartwick led for virtually the entire first two quarters. Its biggest lead of the half came with 2:41 left in the second quarter as Corbett hit the second of two free throws for a 23-14 lead. A 7-4 Highlander run to finish the half cut the deficit to six, 27-21, heading into the locker room.
Houghton earned its first lead of the game with 4:52 left in the third after a Madison Detweiler layup. The rest of the half would feature seven more lead changes and three tie scores.
Hartwick quickly jumped back in front and held onto the lead until the waning seconds of the quarter as an Emily Swanson jumper put the visitors ahead 40-39 after three quarters.
The advantage changed hands four times in the first four minutes of the final period. Hartwick maintained the edge but the game was just a one-possession game for the final 2:47. Corbett connected on two from the free-throw line with 13.7 seconds remaining to put the Hawks in front 59-56. 'Wick had a foul to give and used it with 5.4 ticks to go before the Highlanders called timeout. The ball went to Beck at the top of the key and she drilled her long-range shot to knot the score at 59-all.
Stone went to the bucket on the first possession of overtime and subsequently put her team in front for good with two from the stripe. After a stop on the defensive end, Shaw hit a three at 4:13 for a 64-59 game. Houghton answered with a three at 3:06, but after each team came away empty on their next possessions, it was Shaw again from downtown for a 67-62 edge with 2:24 to play.
Two free throws and later a layup with 43 seconds showing on the clock made it 67-66 Hawks. Stone made two more from the line to push the lead to three, 69-66. Houghton would turn the ball over on the ensuing possession only to have the Hawks give the ball back to the Highlanders. Unfortunately for the visitors, they ran out of time to allow Hartwick the victory.
Courtney Cirillo (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) would contribute six rebounds, four points, and four blocked shots for the Hawks.
'Wick shot 39% (23-for-59) on the day. The Hawks made only 3-of-14 from three-point range. Houghton hit 35.8% (24-for-67) for the game. They held the advantage in rebounds 49-35.
Elle Reed paced the visitors with 18 points. Detwiler scored 13 and Brittany Lenart netted 11.
Hartwick plays in its final non-conference game of the regular season on Wednesday, January 18. SUNY Cobleskill comes calling in a game slated for 7 p.m.