It’s been a long time for the Hartwick College women’s basketball team.
The Hawks will host an NCAA Division III Tournament game for the first time in 17 years today as Lambros Arena prepares for an opening-round doubleheader. Amherst and Springfield will play the first game at 5 p.m. today, followed by Hartwick and Baruch at 7 p.m.
Today’s winners will advance to a second-round game at 6 p.m. Saturday back at Lambros Arena.
Tonight, Hartwick will attempt to win an NCAA game for the first time since March 1, 1991, when it outlasted NYU, 55-54, in overtime.
Sophomore forward Brittney Dumas and senior guard Maria Foglia will lead the Hawks into tonight’s game, which marks the first NCAA appearance for Hartwick since falling, 68-61, to Emmanuel in the first round at Rhode Island College on March 2, 2012.
Dumas averages 15.7 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Hawks, who have received 14.8 points per game this season from Foglia.
Dumas ranks 16th among NCAA D-III players with 16 double-doubles in 26 games. Foglia has hit 50 three-point field goals and ranked second in the Empire 8 Conference with a .379 shooting percentage from behind the arc.
Sophomore forward Taylor Vonasek and senior guards Lee Arduini, Kait Veit and Kate Purcell contribute more than five points per game as well.
Purcell, Foglia and Veit are three of the top four three-point shooters in Hartwick history. Together with Arduini, the quartet has combined for 489 three-pointers in four seasons.
The Hawks, who received an NCAA at-large berth after falling to Stevens in the E8 Tournament semifinals, are 21-5 this season, including a 20-2 mark when scoring at least 55 points. They also are 12-0 when hitting 70 points or better.
Baruch is making its seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance, after winning seven consecutive CUNYAC titles. Although none of the Bearcats averages more than 12 points, six contribute at least six points per game. Junior Sheridan Taylor is the team leader at 11.2 points per game, followed by classmates Iyana Abrams (10.6) and Alicea Ulmer (10.5).