Who: #3 D'Youville Spartans (15-5) vs. #2 Hilbert Hawks (16-4)
What: AMCC Playoffs - Semifinals
Where: Pittsburgh, PA / La Roche University - Kerr Fitness and Sports Center
When: Friday, February 28 - 8:30pm
Buffalo, NY – The #3 D'Youville women's basketball team has advanced to the semifinals of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) women's basketball playoffs with their 79-69 victory over the #6 Penn State-Altoona Lions on Tuesday evening. D'Youville advances to play the #2 Hilbert Hawks on Friday, February 28 at 8:30pm at La Roche College, the host of the semifinals and finals.
In the first quarter of Tuesday's game, the Spartans came out red hot on their way to a 23-17 first quarter lead. The Lions would come back to outscore D'Youville 21-20 in the second, but the Spartans would maintain their lead 43-38 at the half.
D'Youville exploded in the third quarter for 23 additional points, outscoring Altoona 23-14 and led 66-52. The Lions would answer to some respect in the fourth quarter to outscore D'Youville, but the Spartans would go on to win the game 79-69.
Freshman guard Sara Pfeiffer (Olean, NY/Olean) had a big game for the women, scoring a game-high 27 points. Fellow freshman Sarah Wittek (Elma, NY/Iroquois) recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Haley Kirisits (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) scored 13 points with seven rebounds. Sophomore Danielle Hore (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park) tallied seven points, seven assists, and six rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
The Spartans will square off against the Hilbert Hawks – the second overall seed in the AMCC playoffs - as they come off a first round bye. Hilbert boasted a 16-4 conference record and 19-6 overall record in 2019-20.
Despite taking second in the regular season this year, the Hawks are the reigning back-to-back AMCC Tournament Champions. Prior to 2019-20, Hilbert posted a combined 31-5 conference record.
Emily Gawlak leads the Hawks and the conference in scoring with 19.4 points/game. Taylor Corts adds 14.4 points/game with Ashley Schroeder adding 9.6 points/game and Ashley Repine scoring 10.1 points/game in 16 games. Macy Kisner leads the squad with 9.0 rebounds/game.
In 2019-20, two of Hilbert's four conference losses came at the hands of the Spartans. To open their conference schedules on November 20, D'Youville defeated Hilbert 60-47 behind a strong showing from a young D'Youville team. Kirisits led the team with 18 points while Elizabeth Bradley (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) added 16. Hore nearly recorded a triple-double with 16 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds in the victory at Hilbert.
The second meeting saw D'Youville earn the season sweep over the Hawks with a 69-60 victory on home court. Pfeiffer scored 26 points with five rebounds while Hore added 12 points with six rebounds and five assists. Riley Riedel (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) came off the bench with a near double-double at nine points and 10 rebounds.
D'Youville has won their last six games and nine of their last 10 – with one of those victories coming over the Hawks. They have averaged 73.5 points/game during their six-game win streak while limiting opponents to 56.7 points/game. Pfeiffer and Hore have driven the offense with Pfeiffer averaging 18.8 points/game over the last six and Hore averaging 15.5 points/game, 10.3 rebounds/game, and 5.2 assists/game.
The Spartans closed out the season with a 15-5 conference record and a 17-8 overall record in the 2019-20 season. Throughout the entire season, the women have three separate winning streaks of three or more with never more than two consecutive losses.
The winner of Friday's game will go on to face the winner of #1 La Roche against #4 Pitt.-Greensburg on Saturday at 4:00pm. As the top seed, La Roche earned a first round bye while Greensburg took down #5 Penn State-Behrend 71-53 Tuesday evening. To earn the #1 seed, La Roche went 18-2 while Greensburg went 14-6 in conference play as the two teams will battle on Friday evening at 6:00pm.