PITTSFORD, NY – Hartwick fell from the unbeaten ranks in the Empire 8 Conference on Friday night with a 69-66 loss to St. John Fisher at Bobby Wanzer Court. The setback snaps the Hawks' seven-game winning streak and drops them to 10-6 overall and 6-1 in league play. Fisher improves to 6-8, and 3-2 in the Empire 8.
The Hawks trailed by 11 points with 4:30 remaining in the game but fought to get the deficit down to two, 67-65, with 24 seconds to play. The Cardinals hit a free throw for a three-point edge with 10 ticks remaining and 'Wick would miss a potential tying three-pointer.
Jacqui Foreman (Tolland, CT/Tolland) was fouled and made one of two from the stripe for a 68-66 game five seconds later. The Hawks fouled and the Cardinals split a pair from the free-throw line to make the score 69-66 with 3.5 seconds showing on the clock. Sarah Shaw's (Franklin, MA/Franklin) three from beyond midcourt was off the mark and Fisher would come away with the victory.
Emily Stone (Granby, CT/Granby) led Hartwick with 15 points on the night. She added four rebounds. Caitlin Corbett (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) contributed 13 points and five boards, and Courtney Cirillo (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) added 11 points, four rebounds, four blocked shots, and a trio of three-pointers.
The game featured 12 lead changes and 12 tie scores in a very tight affair throughout. In the first half alone, neither team led by more than three points for all but 33 seconds.
There were eight ties and eight lead changes in the first half. A Shaw three-pointer with four seconds left would give Hartwick a 19-16 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Late in the second, a Cirillo layup with under a minute left handed the Hawks a 33-32 advantage, but two Emily Piacentini baskets with under 40 seconds to play gave the hosts a 36-33 edge at the break.
Corbett and Cirillo both nailed three-pointers as the Hawks scored the first 10 points of the third for their biggest lead, 43-36. Just 3:03 later, however, the Cardinals evened the game at 45-all. The two teams traded baskets near the end of the quarter with Fisher taking a 52-50 edge into the final quarter.
Fisher returned the favor at the start of the fourth, scoring 12 of the first 15 points to grab their biggest advantage of the night, 64-53. Traditional three-point plays from Corbett 17 seconds apart cut the Cardinal lead to five, 66-61, with less than a minute to go. The Hawks cut it to two twice but got no closer.
Both teams shot around 38% for the game. The Hawks made 22-for-59 (37.3%) with the Cardinals making 25-for-65 (38.5%). Fisher held a slight edge on the glass, 42-39.
Shaw closed the night with eight points, four rebounds, and a pair of three-pointers for the Hawks. Foreman added seven points, a game-high 14 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Carly Johnson (Greenville, NY/Greenville Central) and Anna Hickey (Falmouth, ME/Falmouth) each had six points and three boards.
Fisher was paced by Piacentini's 18 points. Maria Kelleher scored 16 for the victors.
Hartwick gets back to action tomorrow at Nazareth beginning at 2 p.m.