Maria Foglia and Kate Purcell scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, to lead the host Hartwick College women’s basketball to a 60-46 Empire 8 Conference semifinal victory over Stevens on Friday.
Hartwick (19-7) will host top-seeded Ithaca College (24-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the conference title game. The winner earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Ithaca, which has beaten Hartwick twice this season, advanced with a 64-54 win over St. John Fisher.
The Hawks led for all but two minutes and 56 seconds early in the first half.
But a Dylan Krause three-point basket cut the Hartwick lead to 42-37 with 6:56 remaining.
It stayed a five-point game for the next two minutes.
Empire 8 Rookie of the Year Brittney Dumas of Hartwick and the Ducks’ Miranda Ripken traded baskets before Foglia hit a layup with 4:19 to go that gave Hartwick a seven-point lead.
A layup by Hartwick’s Kait Veit started an 8-1 run that all but sealed it for the Hawks, who are trying to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.
Foglia also had a game-high eight rebounds. Purcell grabbed seven rebounds and needs four points Saturday to reach 1,000.
In the first half, the Hawks used a 10-0 run to open up a 14-4 lead on the visiting Ducks. Purcell made a pair of three-pointers in the spurt. The Hawks’ edge grew to as much as 11 at the midway point of the first half and they were able to enter halftime with a 10-point lead, 31-21.
Salve Regina 10
Phil Schaefer scored four goals, and Harry Hughes and Cody Ciolino had two apiece as visiting Hartwick opened its season with a non-conference victory.
The Hawks led, 7-2, at halftime before the hosts rallied in the second half.
Oneonta High graduate Alex Miller won two individual SUNY Athletic Conference titles, setting school records in both events, in leading Oneonta State on the second day of the conference championship at Erie Community College.