Women's hoops wins fifth straight

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Geneseo basketball teams played host to the Cortland Red Dragons, with the women pulling off an upset win and the men taking a loss.

In a shocking win, the women's squad beat the nationally-ranked Red Dragons by a score of 59-51, extending their winning streak to five games. Free throws were key for the Knights as they went 10-12 from the line to close the game.

Sophomore Kate Jaffie came off the bench to score eight points on 3-3 from the floor and 2-2 from the arc in just six minutes played. After a miserable 1-9 start, the Lady Knights now sit at 7-10 overall and 5-3 in SUNYAC.

For the men's squad, the Red Dragons proved too much of a challenge, as Geneseo fell short, 64-60.

The first half of the game was a back and forth battle with neither team leading by more than four. In the second half, however, Cortland went on an 11-0 run to take a 15-point lead before Geneseo rallied with a 15-2 run to tie the game at 59 with 1:44 left.

That was as close as the Knights would get though, as Cortland took the lead for good on a pair of free throws and Geneseo turned the ball over in the final seconds with a chance to tie. Junior Scott Morton led the offense with 15 points, going 3-5 from the arc and 4-6 from the line with seven assists and five rebounds. Senior Joe Kling added 14 points with seven boards and senior Tarik Kitson tallied 12 points.

The Knights' fall to 11-6 overall and 4-4 in SUNYAC.

The performances Tuesday by both teams came on the heels of tough road trips last week as they played SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam, with the men splitting their games and the women winning both.

The men's squad traveled to Plattsburgh on Friday, Jan. 25, to challenge the Cardinals, ranked 17th in the nation. The Knights held strong for the first half of the game and had a two-point lead at the break, but Plattsburgh opened up the second half with an 18-0 run, however, effectively putting the game away en route to a final score of 66-44.

Junior Scott Morton led the team with eight points.

The next day the men's squad traveled to face the Potsdam Bears, where the Knights pulled out a 72-68 victory. Geneseo led 31-26 at halftime, but the Bears made a steady comeback and tied the game at 65 with two minutes to play.

The contest came down to which team could be more effective at the free-throw line. Geneseo senior Tarik Kitson led the way, shooting 4-4 from the line, as the Knights were 7-10 over the final two minutes.

Morton and junior Jeff Howe scored 16 points apiece.The women's team's weekend was not lacking in drama. The team won both of their games in overtime, beating Plattsburgh 57-53 and then escaping Potsdam with a 69-67 victory.

"I didn't realize what a challenge it would be for the kids both mentally and physically," women's basketball coach Scott Hemer said on the difficulty of the weekend road trip.

Senior Annie Verdino was critical in both of the Knights' victories. Verdino forced overtime in the Plattsburgh game by hitting a deep three-point field goal with four seconds left in regulation. Verdino finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-10 from the floor, 2-3 from the arc and 4-4 from the line.

Verdino's efforts were assisted by junior Bridget Riley, who netted five of nine from the field on the way to 11 points, while sophomore Kiki Campbell added eight points and 12 rebounds.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, Verdino scored the final six points against Potsdam, forcing overtime. With the game tied with five seconds remaining Verdino went 2-4 from the free-throw line to seal the win. She finished with 31 points on the night while Campbell added 13 points and nine boards and senior Amanda Haney totaled 10 points.

Both the men and women's teams will travel to Buffalo State on Friday, Feb. 1.