Women's basketball soars past New Paltz and Oneonta; men drop two and fall out of first

The women's basketball team enjoyed a victorious weekend, defeating visiting New Paltz on Friday and Oneonta on Saturday.

New Paltz had a record of 12-3 and were undefeated in the SUNYAC when they arrived on Friday afternoon, but the Lady Knights changed that by beating them 71-63. The Knights entered halftime trailing 36-32 after hitting 12 of 18 from the field, including 2-4 from the arc and 6-12 at the line. New Paltz outshot the Knights 27-18 in the first half, helping them establish their slim lead.

Geneseo came out strong in the second half, battling to tie the score with just under six minutes on the clock. The Knights then went on a 9-0 run that lasted until almost the final minute of the game, putting the Hawks in a hole they couldn't get out of. Geneseo finished the game 23-47 from the field, 4-11 from three-point range and 21-34 at the foul line. This compared to a 24-55 shooting performance from New Paltz which included 7-20 from the arc and 8-14 at the line.

Senior Katy Irving was Geneseo's leading scorer, hitting six field goals including two three-pointers and going eight for nine at the line for a total of 22 points. Sixteen of those points came in the second half and helped the Knights take the lead. Junior Annie Verdino also put in a tremendous effort with 19 points, sinking seven field goals and a three-pointer, hitting four free throws and pulling down 10 rebounds. "It was a great win," said Verdino. "Even though New Paltz had an undefeated record, my team, my coaches, and I had confidence in our ability to beat them."

The next day the women defeated Oneonta 57-48. The visiting Red Dragons were cold all day, hitting only 28 percent of their shots and missing all 14 of their three-pointers. After trailing five minutes into the game, the Knights went on a 19-10 run that gave them a 25-18 lead at the half. Oneonta then battled back, taking the lead back briefly with 3:30 on the clock, but Verdino, sophomore Amanda Bihr and junior Lydia Reed combined for 13 points the rest of the way to help lead the Knights to victory.

Verdino was 7-16 from the field with two three-pointers, went 5-7 at the line and grabbed ten rebounds. "Knowing my team was behind me gave me the confidence to improve down the stretch," she commented. "I wouldn't be able to do much without my teammates."

Irving scored nine points from outside the arc, and Junior Amanda Haney was a perfect 4-4 from the field. After the weekend, the women's record stands at 10-8, with a 5-4 record in SUNYAC play.

The men's team, meanwhile, had two losses tacked onto their record, which now stands at 12-6 overall and 6-3 in conference. On Friday, the Knights lost a tight game to New Paltz, 75-71. The Hawks opened the game with a three pointer and grabbed a 14-point lead with 10 minutes left in the first half, but the injury-plagued Knights battled back to trail 35-32 at halftime. They managed to hold the lead briefly in the second half, but a New Paltz three-pointer with twelve minutes on the clock allowed the Hawks to retake the lead and hold on until the end of the game.

Sophomore Scott Morton played the full 40 minutes for the Knights and scored a career-high 28 points. Morton was 10-17 from the field, hitting five shots from beyond the arc and sinking all three of his free throws. Sophomore Jeff Howe was on fire, hitting nine of his 10 shots for 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Unfortunately, the heroics of Morton and Howe were not enough to lift the Knights past the 8-8 Hawks.

On Saturday, the Knights dropped another game as they lost to Oneonta by a score of 72-49. The Red Dragons came out strong in the first half, leading the Knights 49-24 at the half. The Knights did not look good early on, hitting only five shots and missing nine three-pointers.

In the second half, they managed to cut Oneonta's lead to 11 points with 10:30 on the clock, but the Red Dragons took off from there and finished with a 23-point lead. Geneseo was 15-42 on the day, hitting two of their 12 three-pointers and going 17-32 at the stripe. Morton and senior Greg Spears posted 11 points each, and Howe scored 10, but again the Knights came up short.