Hudson Valley Sports Report

JOHN JAY GRAD MARION DIETZ AND SUNY NEW PALTZ MAKE HISTORY

Women’s Basketball Upset Ithaca To Advance To NCAA Division III Sweet 16

ITHACA – Who knew?

In her first year playing for the State University of New York at New Paltz women’s basketball program, John Jay High School graduate Marion Dietz has been a key contributor to the Hawks. Dietz is averaging almost 30 minutes a game, 7.6 points, 4.9 rebounds.

She had an idea the team would be good this year.

But this good?

“You ask anyone on our team, and we are completely speechless,” Dietz told HVSR on Saturday after New Paltz won its third straight stunning upset, beating host Ithaca College 83-80 in the NCAA Division III Tournament and earning a trip to the Sweet 16 next weekend.

The Hawks will face UMass-Dartmouth in the matchup.

New Paltz knocked off top-seeded SUNY Geneseo to win the SUNYAC title and the automatic berth into the NCAAs, and then upset No. 19 Bowdoin, 62-61, in the first round.

But Ithaca presented its own challenge, as it beat the Hawks by 28 points in January and held homecourt advantage.

“The last time we played Ithaca we got completely destroyed by in early January,” Dietz said. “But we were a completely different team (Saturday) and our coaching staff did an amazing job of fixing our defense and offense.”

Dietz played 21 minutes in the game and had a couple of points, a couple of rebounds and an assist – and every one of them was precious.

“This game was crazy,” she said. “It truly was the definition of a March Madness game. It was back and forth the entire fourth quarter and Ithaca made a huge run, but we kept our composure. Being one of only 16 teams left in the nation and making SUNY New Paltz Women’s Basketball history is unbelievable. We are going to enjoy this experience this weekend and then go back to work on Monday!”

One Comment

  1. Richard McHugh

    March 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    The University of Scranton is in the sweet sixteen as well. New Paltz proves what good coaching, recruiting and college support can do.

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