Johnson Scores 1000th Point, Hawks Beat Highlanders 78-67

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HOUGHTON, NY – Carly Johnson (Greenville, NY/Greenville Central) became the 15th player in program history to score 1000 career points on Friday night, joining the club on a driving lay-up in the final minute on which she was fouled. The Hawks used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to bring their lead from two to 11, never relinquishing it for the rest of the night in a 78-67 final. Hartwick is now 10-3 (3-1 E8), matching their best start since the 2013-14 season when they also went 10-3, ultimately making the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Houghton drops to 8-5 (1-3 E8).

Neither team could grab much control of the game in the first five minutes of the opening quarter, as 'Wick led by one, 8-7, just over halfway through the period. The Hawks were able to lengthen that lead immediately thereafter, however, as a Johnson jumper and Molly Kirby (Selkirk, NY/Bethlehem) three-point play made the margin six before Houghton was able to bring it back to four when the first ended. The Highlanders quickly cut the Hartwick lead to two, at 16-14, on their first possession of the second quarter, but the Hawks then immediately went on that 9-0 run. The Kirby sisters scored the first seven points of that stretch; Maggie Kirby (Selkirk, NY/Bethlehem) started it off with a lay-up, followed about a minute later by another Molly Kirby conventional three-point play and about ten seconds after that by two free throws from Maggie. Caitlin Corbett (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) capped the run with a lay-up, assisted by Mary Schoenherr (Unionville, CT/Farmington), and making it 25-14. The Highlanders actually answered with a 6-0 run of their own, but the Hawks extended the lead back out to nine at 34-25 on a Schoenherr buzzer-beating lay-up as the half ended.

Hartwick did much of their work in the second half from the free throw line, going 9-for-10 from the charity stripe in the third and 8-for-11 in the fourth, accounting for almost 40% of their points over the final twenty minutes. Corbett started off the third quarter with two free throws to make the lead 11 again, but Houghton stayed with it, eventually knocking their deficit down to just three when Brooke Lewandowski deposited back-to-back fast-break lay-ups in the hoop 2:27 into the quarter. After a timeout, the Hawks went back to work building their lead. Schoenherr hit a jumper, Kelly Pine (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) made two free throws, and Johnson had a fast-break lay-up to make the score 46-37. Maggie Kirby hit a three-pointer on the last possession of the quarter to make the lead 12 points, 58-46. 'Wick held firm in the fourth, hitting their free throws and not getting the lead below nine. Johnson scored her 1000th point with 47 seconds left in the game, becoming the first Hawk to do so since Kate Purcell in 2013, after which Coach Katie Marcella called a timeout to allow for a team celebration. Johnson then sunk the ensuing free throw for her 1001th point, and a minute later Hartwick had secured the victory.

Fittingly, Johnson led all players with 20 points, and also added in three rebounds. Maggie Kirby was just behind her with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, picking up four rebounds (two offensive) and a steal. Pine had 12 points, shooting an astounding 10-for-10 from the free throw line, and had a team-high eight rebounds for the third time in the last four games. Schoenherr also had 12 points, as well as a team-high five assists and two steals. Molly Kirby was the final Hawk to score in double-digits, potting ten points and gathering four rebounds and two assists. Corbett scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, and had two steals, and is now 103 points away from 1000 in her career, with 12 games left in the regular season.

Hartwick outshot Houghton from the field, 49.0% to 41.3%, and from three, 36.4% to 28.6%. The Highlanders had a better percentage from the free throw line, making all nine of their attempts, but 'Wick had 29 free throw shots, making 24 (82.8%). Houghton won both the overall (34-30) and offensive (13-6) rebounding battles, but only held a 10-8 lead in second chance points. Hartwick won the turnover battle, giving it up just 11 times compared to Houghton's 15, and crushed the hosts in points off of turnovers, 18-8.

Brooke Lewandowski led the Highlanders, playing a team-high 29 minutes and scoring 15 points on a very efficient 6-of-7 shooting line. She also just missed a double-double, with nine rebounds. Brittany Lenart had 13 points, a tie for the team high with six assists, and five rebounds, also contributing a block and a steal. Emily Swanson was the final Houghton player in double digits, scoring ten points.

The Hawks look to keep it rolling tomorrow afternoon at Alfred University, where tip-off is at 2 p.m.

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