LANCASTER, PA – Hartwick battled back from a 23-point deficit in the second half but ran out of time in an 80-75 loss to Randolph College (3-9) in the Hawks' final game of the Franklin & Marshall Sponaugle New Year's Tournament at Mayser Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks close out the calendar year with a record of 3-6 overall.
'Wick fell into an early hole as a 20-0 Wildcats' run made the score 23-3 with 12:18 left in the opening half. The deficit would swell to 23 points on three separate occasions before the Hawks cut it to 19 points, 43-24, at the half.
The Hawks shot just 25% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes while Randolph connected on 59% of its shots. Tommy Kelly (Niskayuna, NY/Niskayuna) was the lone bright spot for 'Wick as he dropped in 15 of the Hawks' 24 points of the half.
Hartwick could not get the Wildcats' lead below 16 points through the first 15 minutes of the second half. A Kevin Townes' (Lagrangeville, NY/Our Lady of Lourdes) three-pointer with 4:13 remaining, however, trimmed the margin to 13 points, 71-58.
A Brandon LaForest (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes) bucket at the 2:20 mark trimmed the Hartwick deficit to single digits, 73-64, for the first time since early in the first half. Randolph took care of business at the free-throw line, making 5-of-6 in the final 34 seconds, to negate three-pointers from LaForest and Townes in the last 10 seconds of the contest.
The Hawks finished the game making 42% from the floor as a group. They also hit 15 three-pointers in the contest. The Wildcats finished at a rate of 56% from the field. They also out-rebounded the Hawks, 35-26.
Kelly led four Hawks in double figures with 18 points. He had three three-pointers and four assists. LaForest and Townes each contributed 15 points and a trio of three-pointers. LaForest added seven rebounds and three assists. Townes tied for a game-high with three steals.
Corey Baker (Granby, MA/Granby) contributed 12 points on a game-high four treys. He also had three assists and two steals. Patrick Garey (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) chipped in eight points.
Randolph received a game-high 21 points from Brian Smith. Sammy Hooper dropped in 15 points with Colton Lee netting 13 and Reid Jacoby scoring 11.
Hartwick opens up Empire 8 Conference play on the road on Friday, January 5 at Alfred University. The Hawks and Saxons get started at 6 p.m.