Hartwick's Season Comes to a Close With NCAA Tournament Loss to Emmanuel
PROVIDENCE, RI - Senior guard Meghan Kirwan (Melrose, MA) contributed 17 points, nine steals, seven assists and six rebounds as Emmanuel College defeated Hartwick, 68-61, in NCAA Div. III Women's Basketball Tournament First Round action played at The Murray Center on the campus of Rhode Island College on Friday evening.
The Saints (23-6) will advance to face the winner of Baruch (19-9) and Rhode Island College (24-3) tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Hartwick (22-6) ends its season with the loss.
"Our players played their hearts out," stated Hartwick head coach Missy West. "We battled all night long."
In addition to Kirwan, junior forward Fiona O'Dwyer (Stamford, CT) led all scorers with 24 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Kirwan was the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Year and joined O'Dwyer on the All-GNAC First Team.
Hartwick held the early advantage, opening up a 10-4 lead with 15:43 left in the first half on a layup by sophomore guard Maria Foglia (Rensselaer, NY/Catholic Central). Emmanuel bounced back with four straight points to pull within a bucket, but the Hawks rattled off 12-straight to hold a commanding, 23-10, lead with 10:45 remaining. The run was paced by five points from sophomore guard Kate Purcell (Buffalo, NY/Mount Mercy Academy) and capped with a three-pointer by freshman guard Jo Vincents (Vallensbak, Denmark/Kent School).
However, Emmanuel responded with 14 unanswered points to take its first lead, 24-23, at 5:05. O'Dwyer scored nine, while Kirwan contributed five points, to account for the Saints' offense.
The Saints and Hawks traded the lead before Foglia drained a jumper to tie the game, 31-31, right before the halftime buzzer.
EC shot 39 percent (14-for-36) from the field, while 'Wick shot 44 percent (12-for-27). Emmanuel capitalized on 14 Hawk turnovers, made seven steals and held a slight advantage, 23-22, in rebounding over the first 20 minutes.
The second half proved to be a slugfest through the first eight minutes as neither team was able to build a sizeable advantage. Foglia cashed in a layup at 12:11 to give what proved to be Hartwick's final lead, 41-40, at 12:11.
Emmanuel got on a roll with eight straight points as O'Dwyer scored four, while sophomore forward Liz Daley (Sharon, MA) and classmate center Victoria Johnson (Syracuse, NY) pitched in with two apiece.
Back-to-back layups by Kirwan staked the Saints to a nine-point, 54-45, lead with 6:10 remaining as Hartwick would not get any closer than seven points for the remainder of the ballgame.
Emmanuel shot 50 percent (13-for-26) from the field in the second half and finished up at 44 percent (27-for-62). Hartwick shot 40 percent (12-for-30) over the final 20 minutes and 42 percent (24-for-57) for the game.
'Wick turned the ball over a season-high 26 times, while EC committed 17 miscues. The Hawks held the advantage in rebounding by one, 40-39.
Saints junior forward Laura Benvenuto (Wyckoff, NJ) chipped in with 11 points, while freshman forward Lena Negri (Arlington, VA) snared a team-high eight rebounds.
Foglia scored 18 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for the Hawks. Sophomore guard Lee Arduini (Albany, NY/Academy of the Holy Names) contributed 10 points.
The Hawks end their season 22-6 overall, marking the most victories in 22 years for the program. The game marked the final one for Hartwick seniors Samantha Fox (Hartwick, NY/Cooperstown) and Brittany Ladner (Farmingdale, ME/Hall-Dale).
"Turnovers hurt us tonight," added West. "But I'm so proud of our team for what they have accomplished this season. They are an awesome group."