Hartwick College senior Jared Suderley scored a game-high 27 points Friday to lead the Hawks to a 90-85 men’s basketball victory over visiting Alfred in an Empire 8 Conference Tournament semifinal at Lambros Arena.
Hartwick (17-9) faced a 49-46 deficit at halftime and trailed by 11 points with 6 minutes, 16 seconds left. A layup by Suderley 10 seconds later sparked a 14-0 run, giving the Hawks an 84-81 edge with 1:56 remaining. Suderley capped the spurt when Anthony Keane assisted his only three-point field goal, giving Hartwick the lead for keeps.
Jason Ruback’s layup pulled Alfred (18-8) to 84-83, but Joey Lufkin answered with a layup at the other end. Ruback then exchanged two-point baskets with Suderley as Hartwick held an 88-85 lead with 53 seconds to go.
Suderley and Keane each went 1-for-2 from the foul line during the last 12 seconds to secure the victory for top-seeded Hartwick, which will host the E8 title game against Nazareth at 3 p.m. Saturday back at Lambros Arena.
Third-seeded Nazareth (19-7) advanced to the final with a 71-60 upset of second-seeded Stevens (17-9) in Friday’s opening semifinal at Hartwick.
The Empire 8 Tournament champion will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Joey Lufkin and Kyle Bradley scored 18 points apiece for the Hawks. Bradley also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Thomas Tsatsis’ 10 points paced the Saxons, who received 10 from Ryan Mahon.
Delhi 73, Cayuga 55
Arif Mehmetaj finished with game-highs of 15 points and three blocks to lead host SUNY Delhi to a first-round victory in the NJCAA Division III Region III Tournament.
Ibrahima Toure contributed 12 points and a game-best 11 rebounds for the top-seeded Broncos (26-5), who outscored Cayuga Community College, 39-22, after halftime.
“Our kids just settled down a little bit after halftime,” said Delhi coach Rob Schoener, whose fifth-ranked NJCAA D-III team took a 34-33 lead into the break. “We kind of just slowly but surely pulled away from them.”