In Hawks History: New Paltz’s Legendary 2009 Win Over Saint Mary’s

Both the Men’s and Women’s New Paltz Hawks basketball team in 2009 took down Mount Saint Mary’s college in their first game of the season. (Photo courtesy of Hawks Athletics)

Rewind the clocks to 2009: As the Hawks men’s and women’s basketball teams were ready to start their seasons on Nov. 18 they both faced a team which they had lost to years prior.  

Mount Saint Mary’s college gave both Hawks basketball teams difficulty in the past. As of 2020  the women’s Hawks basketball team’s record against Mount Saint Mary’s stands at (6-13) and  the Men’s Hawks basketball team’s record against Mount Saint Mary college stands at (7-4). 

Before the 2009 match up against the Mount Saint Mary’s team, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams wanted to ensure that they came out victorious. The Hawk’s women’s team lost to Mount Saint Mary’s the year prior and had a losing streak against them from 1995-2005. For the Men’s team, they wanted to keep their streak of wins against this out of conference matchup alive, from the year 1994 to 2010 the Men’s team came out victorious.

The recap of the 2009 Women’s team against Mount Saint Mary’s was a back and forth contest, as the women’s team beat them by just seven points, the final score being 63-56. As the game began for the women Hawks, they had been playing defense and offense according to Head Coach Jamie Seward.

Holding Mount Saint Mary’s to just 28% in field goal shooting in the first half, the Hawks looked to capitalize on that lead, finishing the first half on a seven to two run. Ending the game by holding their opponent to just 41.7% from the field and 50% from the foul line defense was likely a key in the women’s team victory. 

The scoring was led by fourth years Nicole Sarcone and Maggie Farrell with a combined total of points scored of 24. They provided the team with the offensive scoring load and allowed their team more points of getting easy baskets. 

This win meant more than just a tally in the records for wins and losses for the women’s Hawks; as it’s the players’ heart and determination that led them to victory, according to Head Coach Jamie Seward

“It was good to get that first win of the season and it’s a great win for our program. We have been playing nationally ranked programs over the years and getting this win on the road shows how far this program has come over the last four years,” Seward said. 

Following this win for the women’s basketball program, they finished off their season off with a record of (18-10). Finishing (13-5) in the SUNYAC conference and having a strong winning percentage of 72%, as well as advancing to the finals in the SUNYAC championship tournament but ultimately falling to SUNY Cortland. 

The recap of the Men’s team against Mount Saint Mary’s was also a nail biter in itself. At the half the Hawks were tied with the Blue Knights at a score of 23-23oming out in the second half, the game was still a back and forth contest. Leading into the final minutes of the game, fourth-year returner Shereef Taylor had been scoring in bunches, as he finished the game out with 21 points. 

With less than only a couple of minutes of play in the game trailing the Blue Knights, second-year Harris Wichard knocked down two crucial 3-pointers to give a two point lead in the final minute to play left on the clock for the Hawks. Another stop on the defensive side for the Hawk’s had occurred, and in transition Jayquan Anderson had been fouled and converted both free throws to give the Hawks a four point victory over Mount Saint Mary’s. 

“I am very proud of the way my guys played tonight,” said Head Coach Dagan Nelson. “They played together on defense and kept their composure down the stretch to earn this victory.”

Finishing off the season for the Hawks men’s basketball team was subpar. They ended on a years’ record of (11-15) and lost in the first round of the SUNYAC tournament against SUNY Plattsburgh. 

As we look back at historic nights like this, both the women’s and men’s basketball team showed heart, composure and determination to secure the victory.