ONEONTA, NY – Despite an incredible three-minute, ten-point comeback to tie the game at the end of regulation, the Hartwick women's basketball team saw their 12-game winning streak snapped in double overtime on Sunday at Lambros Arena, losing to St. John Fisher, 95-83. The game, which pitted two team ranked in the NCAA's East Region in #3 Hartwick and #7 St. John Fisher, was a makeup from a snowed-out game on January 19. The Hawks drop to 19-4 overall and 12-2 in the conference, seeing their lead over second-place Stevens (11-3) slip to just one game. The Cardinals, who avenged a last-second loss at the hands of Hartwick from earlier in the season, are now 15-7 overall and 9-4 in the Empire 8, 2.5 games ahead of fifth-place Sage for the final playoff spot.
Hartwick seniors Caitlin Corbett (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) and Carly Johnson (Greenville, NY/Greenville Central) were honored for their contributions to the program and their illustrious 1000-point careers before their final regular season home game.
The Hawks took a 9-4 lead on Mary Schoenherr's (Unionville, CT/Farmington) jump shot 4:01 into the first quarter, and were able to withstand Fisher's efforts to close the gap for most of the period, generally answering their opponent's baskets and keeping the lead at five for most of the first ten minutes. The Cardinals persisted, however, eventually going on a 6-0 run to temporarily take 17-16 lead before Kelly Pine (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) hit a three-point with seven seconds left to give the Hawks the lead after one, 19-17.
'Wick appeared to take back some control of the game to start the second, answering a quick basket by Fisher's Erin Hulbert on the first possession of the period with a 7-0 run that saw Corbett score the first four points followed by another Pine three. The Cardinals' Alex Reigle answered Pine's three with one of her own, but Molly Kirby (Selkirk, NY/Bethlehem) hit consecutive lay-ups to give Hartwick its largest lead of the day, at 30-22. St. John Fisher responded in a big way, scoring 20 of the next 22 points to grab a ten-point lead. Miranda Lynch was the star of that run, making four of five three-pointers over the six-minute stretch, also grabbing a rebound and a steal. Hartwick's Johnson got into foul trouble during the run, picking up her fourth foul on a technical, which would keep her on the bench for much of the rest of the game. Corbett nailed two free throws with eleven seconds left in the half, but Fisher led going in to the break, 42-34.
The Hawks jumped right at the Cardinals to start the third quarter, as the Kirby sisters combined for the first eight points of the second half and tied the game at 42. Molly started it off with a lay-up and a three, both assisted by Schoenherr, and Maggie Kirby (Selkirk, NY/Bethlehem) finished it with a three-point play. 'Wick briefly took the lead back on a Pine three-pointer that put them ahead, 49-47, 4:45 in to the quarter, but Fisher hung in there, retaking the lead and extending it out to as much as six before Corbett hit two free throws to send the game to the fourth at 57-53, visitors ahead.
Maisy Booth was a spark to start the fourth for Fisher, scoring a lay-up on the first possession, grabbing a rebound on the other end, and putting back a missed three-pointer to give the Cardinals an eight-point lead less than a minute in. Hartwick was able to stay in it, narrowing the lead to four a few times, but a 6-0 Fisher run that gave them a 73-63 lead with 3:21 left seemed to put the game out of reach. Hartwick's Johnson had fouled out with 4:52 on the clock, keeping her out of service for the rest of the day. Pine hit a three with 2:38 left, however, and after some back and forth Maggie Kirby nabbed an offensive rebound and layed it in to cut the lead to five with 47 seconds left. After two big missed free throws from Fisher's Sydney Masna, Corbett nailed two of her own to make it a one-possession game. Hulbert answered back with two-of-two from the line, but another offensive rebound and put back from Maggie Kirby again cut the deficit to three, and Hulbert then missed two more attempts from the line with 22 seconds left. Kirby grabbed the rebound, giving it to Schoenherr, who ran it up the floor and passed it on to Corbett on the right wing for a game-tying three pointer with 14 seconds on the clock. The Cardinals had a few good chances to win it on their final possession, but were not able to convert, sending the game to overtime tied at 75.
St. John Fisher won the tip to start off the first extra period, but Molly Kirby intercepted a pass and layed the ball in on the break. Maggie Kirby followed 1:27 later with 1-of-2 from the line, but Lynch channeled her second-quarter self and knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game again at 78-all. Maggie Kirby went 2-of-2 from the line to regain the lead, but Hulbert answered back under a minute later with a lay-up to knot it up at 80. Each team had chances to win it in the final minute, including a missed lay-up from Schoenherr, but no one could convert, sending the game to a second overtime.
After the teams traded baskets to start double overtime, Hulbert made a lay-up, giving the Cardinals a lead they ultimately would not relinquish. Molly Kirby made one-of-two from the line with 2:15 to go to make the score 84-83, but Hulbert hit three of her next four from the free throw line, followed by a Masna lay-up. The Hawks could not convert on their offensive possessions, and Hulbert did from the charity stripe, going six-for-six in the final minute to ice the game.
Corbett led all players with 27 points (her second-highest total of the season and her eighth-straight game in double digits), playing all 50 minutes. She also had eight rebounds (five offensive), three assists, and a tie for the game-high with three steals, and went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Maggie Kirby picked up her first career double-double, setting a career high with 13 rebounds (including eight offensive) and also scoring eight points. Pine was one off of a double-double, scoring 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and gathering nine rebounds. It was her fourth straight game with 15 or more points after having just one in the first 19 games of the season, and she also set a season high and tied a career high with three blocks. Schoenherr had a solid all-around night, scoring eight points, setting a season high and tying a career high with nine assists (the most for any Hawk this season), and grabbing five rebounds and two steals. Molly Kirby was the only other Hawk in double digits, potting 12 points to go with five rebounds, two assists, and a tie with Corbett for the game high of three steals.
St. John Fisher comfortably outshot Hartwick both from the field and from deep, holding a 43.4% to 33.7% advantage overall and a 40.7% to 30.8% lead from three. The Hawks did have a significant lead from the free throw line, 79.2% (19-of-25) to 64.3% (18-of-28), keeping them in the game, but the Cardinals were able to overcome that and ice the game towards the end of second overtime from the charity stripe. Fisher outrebounded Hartwick, 58-48, although they had only a 21-20 advantage on the offensive glass, and the Hawks had a significant 21-11 lead in second chance points. 'Wick was a fair bit cleaner with the ball, turning it over 17 times to the Cardinals' 27, leading to a 31-20 lead in points off turnovers.
Hulbert and Masna starred for the visitors, scoring 24 and 23 points, respectively. Hulbert had a double-double, with ten assists, made 13-of-16 from the free throw line, and was just three rebounds away from a triple-double. Masna was a board shy of a double-double herself, and shot 10-of-17 from the field. Both Hulbert and Masna also had two steals and a block. Lynch was the other Cardinal with over ten points, scoring 15 on 5-of-7, all from three-point range. Ella Eckert had a team-high 11 rebounds to go with her four points.
The Hawks have a big road game against fifth-place Sage on Tuesday, February 12 at 5:30 p.m. A win would at least set them up for a winner-take-all regular season finale against Stevens in Hoboken, on Saturday, February 16.
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