The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
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).
The Bearcats (21-7) have held opponents to 31.7 percent shooting from the floor this season, which ranks sixth nationally. They also rank 17th among NCAA D-III programs in rebounding margin (9.8), 23rd in steals per game (12.7), and 40th in scoring defense (55.0 ppg).
Tickets for both days will be $6 for adults and $3 for students. Hartwick students with valid college IDs and children younger than age 5 will receive free admission.
Live streams for all three NCAA games will be available online. Tonight’s opener may be streamed at ezstream-media-8-8276.wm.llnwd.net/ezstream_media_8_8276; the second game will be available at ezstream-media-8-8277.wm.llnwd.net/ezstream_media_8_8277; and Saturday’s game may be accessed at ezstream-media-6-6274.wm.llnwd.net/ezstream_media_6_6274.
Schenevus grad in NCAAs
Schenevus graduate Taylor Spranger will make an NCAA D-III Tournament appearance at 7 tonight, when her Wells College team plays Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham (27-0) in the opening round at the Ferguson Athletic Center in Madison, N.J.
A former First Team Tri-Valley League All-Star, forward Spranger is averaging two points, two rebounds and 6 1/2 minutes in her freshman season for the North Eastern Athletic Conference champion Express (19-8). Wells earned its first NEAC title and an automatic NCAA berth by defeating Lancaster Bible College, 67-60, in the conference championship game last Saturday.
Spranger joins Oneonta High graduate Sienna Wisse and Jefferson graduate Chelsea Martin on the list of former area standouts who will compete in the NCAA D-III Tournament this season.
Junior guard Wisse will play for Messiah College (20-7) at 5 p.m. today in a first-round game against Randolph-Macon at Madison, N.J.
Senior forward Martin and Sage College (17-9) will play a first-round game against host Ithaca College at 8 p.m. today. Martin, who holds a program record for most games played with 98 consecutive starts, recently earned a spot on the Skyline Conference’s All-Sportsmanship Team.
MEN’S BASKETBALLHawks to play Purchase
Hartwick’s men also advanced to the NCAA D-III Tournament and will play first-round host SUNY Purchase at 8 p.m. today. Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Albertus Magnus will play the tournament opener at 5:30 p.m.
Today’s winners will play a second-round NCAA game back at Purchase at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hartwick won the Empire 8 Conference Tournament last weekend to earn an automatic berth into the 62-team field. Tonight’s game marks its third NCAA appearance in the last four seasons and the Hawks’ 18th in program history.
Empire 8 Player of the Year Jared Suderley leads Hartwick (18-9) with 20.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. The Hawks also receive close to 16 points per game from freshman guard Joey Lufkin, who won E8 Rookie of the Year accolades this season.
E8 second-team selection Kyle Bradley ranks third in team scoring (14.3 ppg) and has a team-best 60-percent field goal percentage. He also leads Hartwick in assists (87) and steals (42).
The Panthers (24-2) won their second straight Skyline Championship and fourth in the last five years with a 100-82 victory over Mount Saint Mary last week. They are making their fourth NCAA appearance.
Skyline Player of the Year Andre Nixon leads Purchase in scoring (18.2 ppg.) and three-point field goals (70). He also has 39 steals and 5.5 rebounds per game this season.
Joel Neri (16.1 ppg), a 7-foot-2 center, leads the Skyline in field goal percentage (.586).
The Hawks and Panthers last played at the Regis Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 16, 2012, when Purchase won, 84-77.
The two teams also met in the NCAA D-III Tournament on March 4, 2011, when Hartwick fell, 79-69, to Purchase at Cabrini College.
Tickets for today’s games cost $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens and students. Saturday’s tickets cost $6 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens and students. Children younger than 2 will be admitted free both days.
All three games will be streamed live on the Purchase Athletics website at www.purchasecollegeathletics.com.