ONEONTA — Hartwick College left everything on the floor.
But that happened the night before Saturday’s 82-61 women’s basketball loss to Amherst College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“I do think we were gassed, specifically at the end of the first half going into the second,” said sixth-year Hartwick coach Missy West, whose team battled back from an 11-point deficit in the second half of Friday’s first-round NCAA game at Lambros Arena for an 80-77 overtime defeat of Baruch College.
“I think we really showed that we were tired,” she continued. “It did take a lot out of us last night because it was an awesome comeback. ... Even after, we were so excited, there was so much energy. It’s hard to get up the next day and face even harder competition.”
Amherst (26-3) may be overqualified for the “harder competition” category as the 11th-ranked Lord Jeffs, who won the 2011 NCAA D-III title, got one step closer to making their sixth straight appearance in the national semifinals.
Still, at-large NCAA selection Hartwick (22-6) seemed anything but ready to roll over upon its return to Lambros Arena, where the Hawks celebrated their first NCAA triumph in 23 seasons Friday night.
Lee Arduini curled around Brittney Dumas’ high screen for a layup that opened the scoring 42 seconds into the second-round game, then stole an entry pass on Amherst’s next possession.
Ali Doswell returned the favor with a steal at the other end, setting up Hannah Peterson for a wide-open three-pointer just left of the circle with 18:39 to go in the opening half.
Peterson blocked Maria Foglia after a quick cut to the right block and soon hit another open three from the left wing for a 6-2 lead 26 seconds later.
Marley Giddins offset a pair of Dumas free throws with an awkward jumper to make it 8-4, but a driving Arduini kicked the ball out to Kate Purcell at the right wing for a three-pointer that pulled the Hawks to 8-7 with 14:29 to go before halftime.