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Local Sports

March 4, 2014

Hartwick women to open at home; Hawks men heading to Purchase

STAFF REPORT

The Hartwick College men’s basketball team earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament, but it’s the Hawks’ women’s squad that will start tournament play at home.

The brackets were released for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments Monday, and both Hartwick squads will be in action this weekend.

Hartwick’s women suffered a 53-52 loss to Stevens Institute of Technology in an Empire 8 Conference semifinal Friday at Ithaca College. Still, with a 21-5 record, the Hawks earned an at-large berth and will host first- and second-round games this weekend.

Hartwick will play Baruch College (21-7) at 7 p.m. Friday in the second game of a doubleheader that will start with Amherst (24-3) opposing Springfield (17-11) at 5 p.m.

The winners will play in the second round at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“This is always the best time of the year,” Hartwick coach Missy West said in a media release sent by the school. “I am thrilled to be part of the NCAA tournament again and even further to be hosting it. After our hiccup in the Empire 8 Tournament, this gives us new life and new energy. I am looking forward to some great games and a great tournament.”

The Hawks’ men received an automatic bid into the tournament based on winning the Empire 8 Conference title Saturday. Hartwick defeated Nazareth, 67-62, behind 21 points and 14 rebounds from tournament MVP Jared Suderley, who was named the E8’s Player of the Week on Monday.

Hartwick (18-9) will open tournament play at 8 p.m. Friday against SUNY Purchase (24-2), which is hosting first- and second-round games. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (22-4) will face Albertus Magnus (26-2) in the first game of the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. at Purchase.

Friday’s winners will play in the second round at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Hartwick’s women will make their ninth tournament appearance and first since 2012, when they lost, 68-61, to Emmanuel College in the first round. That marked the Hawks’ first NCAA appearance since 1997 and the Hawks are looking for the first tournament victory since 1991.

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