The Hawks season came to a disappointing close this past Friday, Feb. 23 with a 63-57 loss in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) semifinals to their upstate rival, SUNY Geneseo Knights.
The Hawks finished the season with a 17-10 (12-6 in conference) record, which placed them fourth in the conference for the 2017-2018 season and landed them their third straight SUNYAC playoff berth.
The Hawks final game of the 2017-2018 season was played in Schrader Gymnasium in Geneseo, NY.
Geneseo got off to a fast start taking a 20-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the resilient Hawks would not go away, narrowing the deficit to six points at half.
Geneseo once again came out fast entering the third quarter, adding to their lead, taking 12-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks would again fight back, but in the end, came up just six points short from advancing to their third straight NCAA tournament, falling to the Knights 63-57.
Hawks head coach Jamie Seward recounts the Knights success to “[running] their offense with great pace” and “[our] slow reacting… allowing way too much dribble penetration…we relied on our perimeter shooting, and we just didn’t shoot the ball well on Friday.”
Despite the loss, the Hawks were able to win a SUNYAC playoff game for the third season in a row, defeating SUNY Brockport by a score of 68-56 on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the Hawk Center.
The Hawks were up for most of the first half, but four straight points at the end of the second quarter brought Brockport back within six points.
The second half was all Hawks. They never relinquished the lead and went up by as much as 18 points with 2:10 left in the third quarter. A late fourth quarter push brought Brockport within nine points with 1:10 left in the game, but inevitably fell short to the Hawks by a score of 68-56.
Even in the face of all this teams recent success, coach Seward feels his job is far from over.
“Our bar in this program is championships, and we failed to achieve that this year,” he said.
At the same time coach Seward is “very proud to coach [his] group of players. They worked hard, they really cared about the team, and they listened and did everything we asked of them.”
Third-year guard Lindsay Bettke seems to agree with her coach’s sentiment.
“We have a very skilled team with talent that just needs to work on playing as a unit.” As far as getting better for next season, Bettke feels the team “needs to work on finishing on the defensive end of the court.”
Third-year guard Rachel Simon feels the team has “incredible potential and [is] excited to get back at it”.
Simon sees this loss as motivation for the 2018-2019 season.
“We didn’t take care of business this past weekend, but that gives us all the more reason to come back stronger next season to get the job done.”