The women’s basketball team now has a record of 3-2 after their last four nonconference games.
First, the Hawks played in the Chuck Resler Tournament hosted by the University of Rochester on Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19.
In the first of two nonconference games, the Hawks fell to the host Yellow Jackets, who are ranked No. 7 in Div. III and played in the Elite 8 last season, 88-76.
Despite the loss, Hawks head coach Jamie Seward said playing in front of an exuberant Rochester crowd of 600 is only going to help the team in the long-run.
“Overall, when you look at all of that, the idea of playing that kind of team in that kind of hostile environment in their gym, realizing that we can not only compete, but we can play really well against that kind of team and having to give up a big lead and overcoming the deficit and tie the game a couple of times, I think it shows a lot,” Seward said. “But we need to figure out how to win those kind of games and there’s still a long ways to go and a lot of things that we need to figure out before we get to that point. We’re certainly a long ways away still.”
During the game, fourth-year co-captain Kit Small became the fourth Hawks women’s basketball player ever to reach the 1,000 point milestone and is currently third all-time in total points with 1,053. Small finished with 16 points for the evening. Hawks first-year guard Marion Dietz recorded a career-high 20 points in a team-high 37 minutes of playing time. Hawks fourth-year guard and forward Morgan Roessler grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
The Hawks entered halftime with a 40-30 lead, but the Yellow Jackets took their first lead of the game with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter. With 6:37 left in the fourth quarter, fourth-year co-captain Courtney Irby knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at 61 apiece. A 3-pointer by Yellow Jackets first-year guard Lauren Foley would give her team the lead for good.
After a quick turnaround the following day, the Hawks defeated the University of Mount Union 56-44. Even after trailing 29-16 at halftime, the Hawks were able to knot the game at 35 with under three minutes left to play in the third quarter. The Hawks pulled ahead for the first time late in the third quarter and for good after a 3-pointer from Dietz with 9:19 remaining in the final quarter. With contributions from Small’s 17 second-half points, they never looked back. Small was named to the All-Tournament team after the conclusion of the game.
For the first time this season, the Hawks played in front of their home crowd at the Hawk Center in a 69-67 nonconference win in the final minute against Hartwick College on Tuesday, Nov. 22. With Hartwick leading 51-46 heading into the fourth quarter, the Hawks were able to make a comeback. Hawks second-year guard Lindsay Bettke and Dietz each converted a 3-pointer to cut the Hawks’ deficit to one (65-64). Hartwick extended their lead to three on a layup, but Dietz knocked down another 3-pointer to tie the game at 67-all with 1:05 remaining in the contest.
With seven seconds remaining, Small was fouled and sent to the free-throw line with the chance to put the Hawks on top. After converting both free-throws and taking the lead 69-67, Hartwick earned one last possession. As the clock expired, Hartwick was able to attempt a layup and after an offensive rebound, a 3-pointer to win the game, but to no avail.
Hawks fourth-year co-captain Courtney Irby said opening up the home season was thrilling and bittersweet for fellow fourth-years Small, Roessler and herself.
“This is our last year playing here so we know that we are giving everything that we have,” Irby said. “Our team has our backs 100 percent so whatever we say goes and it is good that we are all on the same page. We are all in to win it and nothing is going to stop us!”
Seward said in the final minutes, the Hawks finally decided to play with some urgency, and needed to make three straight 3-pointers in order to make that urgency matter.
“The odds are not in your favor when you leave it up to that kind of thing, to have to make three straight shots at the end of the game,” Seward said. “We know we have to play better and the team knows that and now it’s just going about the day-to-day process of trying to make that happen.”
Even with a victory under their belts, Small said the team did not perform as well as they wanted to, and that they would have liked to win by a larger margin than the scoreboard showed.
“We let it come down to luck in the end,” Small said. “If we didn’t hit those 3-pointers, then we wouldn’t have won the game. We can’t really let it come down to that. Luckily we pulled out the win, but we definitely want to start performing stronger in all of our games because we know that we can.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Hawks started a three-game road trip as they fell to New York University by a score of 70-60. This was their final nonconference contest before starting State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play against SUNY Geneseo on Friday, Dec. 2—the team who the Hawks defeated to win the SUNYAC Championship last season.
After taking on the Knights, the Hawks will close out their road trip and face The College at Brockport in a conference matchup the following day at 4 p.m.
Seward said that the team is practicing defending with urgency play after play and a lack of communication for upcoming matchups.
“We’re waiting until we fall behind or until there is an actual urgency and you can’t allow that to happen,” Seward said. “You have to understand that every play is extremely important and every play has to be played with that kind of urgency or else when you get to that urgent situation it’s going to be too late eventually. That’s what we’re talking about and working on, and hopefully we’ll see some fruits of our labor over the next couple of weeks.”