Missy West clearly recalled the turning point of Friday’s NCAA game at Lambros Arena.
The funny thing is, her Hartwick College women’s basketball team wasn’t even on the floor at the time.
“I remember the timeout right around that time when we were down by 11 (points),” Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year West said Friday night. “I told them we have 11 1/2 minutes left and this is what the tournament is all about.
“When we left that timeout, something was different,” she continued. “We were very positive.”
The Hawks followed with a 29-18 run to force a tie at the end of regulation, then went on to beat Baruch College, 80-77, in overtime for its first NCAA Division III Tournament victory since 1991.
Sophomore guard/forward Brittney Dumas finished with game-highs of 34 points and 15 rebounds for the host Hawks (22-5), who advanced to a second-round NCAA game against Amherst College at 6 p.m. Saturday back at Lambros Arena.
“When Brittney Dumas decides she wants to play basketball, she plays basketball,” West said of the six-footer, an E8 First Team selection who finished 13-for-24 from the field and 7-for-10 at the foul line. “She could be one of the best players in the country.”
Senior guard and fellow E8 first-teamer Maria Foglia contributed 23 points, including a 9-for-10 effort at the foul line. Foglia scored the tying basket with 32 seconds left in regulation to make it 66-all, and Emily Stone’s steal with 4 seconds to go forced the extra period.
Foglia then opened the overtime scoring with a layup and, after Sheridan Taylor tied it for Baruch, gave Hartwick the lead for keeps with a pair of free throws 1:12 into the extra period.
“I have 100-percent confidence in her,” West said of Foglia, who secured the victory by hitting another pair of free throws to cap the scoring with 12 seconds left in OT. “She’s struggled at the free throw line this season, but in a game like this, she’s not ready to be done.