America East ChampionshipTournament

So tournament time has come and gone, and for the Hartford Hawks it ended all too soon. After beating Stony Brook in the first round by a score of 68-53, the Hawks took on the Vermont Catamounts who came in led by Junior Courtnay Pilypaitis. Remember Vermont was picked to finish first in the pre season polls while the Hawks were picked to finish second. The Hawks beat Vermont both times this season and they were looking to contend for a championship for the 6th year in a row, but Vermont stood in their way.
Hartford took 32-29 lead into the half on a last second shot by Mary Silvia giving them the momentum. But, that would change in the second as Vermont came out firing shooting 40 percent compared to Hartford’s 29 percent. Hartford was up two with 13 minutes left when Courtnay Pilypaitis came down and hit a three, only to do it again on the next possession giving Vermont the momentum and a lead they would not surrender.
The Hawks would get the lead down to as much as 6 points but just could not get over the hump as missed lay ups and missed free throws kept the Hawks out of striking distance.
Vermont would go onto win the game 66-56 and would advance to the finals only to win the championship, defeating the number one seed Boston University.
But, Hartford’s season would not be over as they would get an automatic bid and a bye in the WNIT along with one more home game. This marks the 5th year in a row that Hartford made the post season and second time in 5 years they have been in the WNIT.
In the second round, Hartford hosted the St. John’s Red Storm out of the Big East, in order to advance the Red Storm defeated IVY League School, Harvard. St. Johns took the lead with 14:28 left in the 1st half and never looked back taking a 13 point lead into the second. It was more of the same in the second half as St. Johns once again came out firing scoring easy baskets and hitting most of their threes in fact 50 percent of them.
The Hawks who shot 37 percent from the field got themselves back in the game cutting the lead from 22 to nine in the second half led by Mary Lynn Schaefer and Ilicia Mathis who ended up with 14 points each for the game.
But, free throws and the 51 percent shooting by ST. Johns put an end to Hartford’s 20-12 season and the career’s of MaryLynne Schaefer, Katie Kelley and Lisa Etienne.