HERKIMER - One game came down to the third quarter and the other to the final minutes Tuesday as rivals Mohawk Valley Community College and Herkimer College squared off in an early season basketball doubleheader with their men's and women's teams.
The Mohawk Valley women outscored their counterparts 21-4 in the third quarter and swung the game from an eight-point halftime deficit to a nine-point lead on the way to a 67-58 victory. The Hawks scored the first 10 points of the second half and the last nine of the third quarter.
The Hawks' male counterparts took a lead before halftime and were up 58-52 before Herkimer's fifth-ranked Generals closed with a 24-4 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes of a 76-62 victory. Mohawk Valley had two field goals in the game's final eight minutes.
The teams will meet again in Utica Jan. 22 and the men have met a third time in each of the last three contested seasons. The men have not split decisions since the 2017-18 season. Tuesday's win by the Mohawk Valley women was their first against Herkimer since 2016-17 and coach Gabe Coffey's first against her previous college coaching stop.
The men's game was close for most of the evening. Herkimer (5-1) led early in the first half and the teams were tied as late as 30-all before Mohawk Valley (6-2) took a 36-32 edge at halftime. The teams were tied at 40, 42 and 44 early in the second half before back-to-back three-pointers by Isiah Knight - two of three Mohawk Valley hit in the game - put the Hawks up 53-46. A free throw a short time later made it 58-52 before Herkimer started its run.
A basket by Shaheed Alcide, a steal and layup by Nick Boyce and a three-point shot by LaMar Matthews erased the deficit and put Herkimer up by one with 4 1/2 minutes to go. Mohawk Valley regained the lead once before Herkimer ran off seven more points and went up 66-60 with a little more than one minute left to play. The Hawks scored one basket before Herkimer point guard Dante Griffin capped a 10-for-10 shooting performance with eight free throws in the final minute.
Griffin finished with 18 points, one short of a career high for the sophomore from Utica.Tyruse Boock led the Generals with 23 points, including 15 in the second half, and Alcide scored 12.
Jordan Drain scored 15 points to lead Mohawk Valley which got 14 from Jamir Smith, 12 from Ike Sheppard and 10 from Daniel Barrera.
The women's teams both entered Tuesday's game with back-to-back losses and they were close through the first half. Mohawk Valley (3-2) led 21-18 after scoring the final seven points of the first quarter, but Herkimer (2-3) pulled back in front at halftime, leading 36-28.
The teams combined for one basket through the first four minutes of the second half and Mohawk Valey tied the score with a Sophia Murray three-pointer midway through the third quarter. The Hawks took a 38-36 lead when Raegan Dalrymple put back a rebound and Herkimer stopped the 10-0 run with a pair of Kapri Bradshaw free throws to re-tie the score.
Hinano Imamura pulled Herkimer even for the last time at 40 with the Generals' only field goal of the third quarter and Mohawk Valley ran off nine more points in the final two minutes of the period.
The Mohawk Valley women led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter and saw their lead cut to five with 2 1/2 minutes left to play.
Ajla Sejdic, a Herkimer sophomore from Utica, had seven three-pointers and scored a game-high 25 points. Bradsahw added 15 in the loss.
Dalrymple led Mohawk Valley with 18 points while Mackensie Hess scored 16, Terah Echols had 13 and Murray, a freshman from New Hartford, scored seven of her 10 in the fourth quarter.
This article originally appeared on Times Telegram: Herkimer, Mohawk Valley CC square off in basketball doubleheader