Basketball teams surge toward SUNYACs

This past weekend, the men's and women's basketball teams hosted Fredonia and Buffalo State. The women came away with one victory, while the men dominated in both games.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the women's team won their first game of the weekend, defeating the Fredonia Blue Devils by a score of 54-43. In the first half, Fredonia took an eight-point lead at 16-8 with 7:52 remaining after an 11-3 run, but Geneseo went on an 18-0 run to close out the half.

In the second half, the Knights came out swinging and built a 13-point lead at 34-21. The Blue Devils came right back, however, with a 10-2 run to cut the lead to five. That was as close as they would get, though, thanks to two three-pointers from senior Annie Verdino along with one from junior Tracy Wangelin to give the Knights a 14-point lead with just over seven minutes left in the game.

Verdino led Geneseo with 15 points and six rebounds on 5-8 from the field and 3-4 from the arc. Wangelin made 3-5 from long range to finish with nine points, sophomore Khadija Campbell added nine points and senior Amanda Haney chipped in with eight points.

Saturday's game did not produce the same result, as the women fell to Buffalo State 65-58 in overtime. The Knights trailed for the first half and for the majority of the second before tying the game at 53 with just over one minute left on the clock. During the overtime session, however, Buffalo State never trailed after scoring the first six points of the extra period.

Campbell posted a double-double for Geneseo by scoring a career-high 16 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Verdino added seven points on a poor shooting night for the senior star, as she shot just 1-9 from the field and 0-3 from the arc. The defeat left the Knights 12-12 overall and 10-5 in conference play heading into their regular-season finale.

For the men's team, Friday's contest against Fredonia was a hard-fought victory, as they came out on top 52-46. It was a poor shooting night for both teams in the first half, as Geneseo shot just 32 percent from the floor and the Blue Devils made only 5 of 19 shots from the floor, giving Geneseo a 20-16 lead at the half.

In the second half, the Knights nearly pulled away several times, leading by eight points three times in the second half. Fredonia refused to go down without a fight though, and pulled within three points on a long three-pointer with only 43 seconds left in the game. Free throws saved the day for the Knights as they went 6-8 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.

Saturday's game went decidedly better for Geneseo, as they defeated the Buffalo State Bengals by a score of 93-51. It was the highest offensive output all year for the Knights and also one of their best defensive efforts of the season.

Coach Steve Minton summed up the team's play as "exceptional and sharp."

Junior Jeff Howe led the Knights with 18 points and nine rebounds. Geneseo had four other players score in double figures, including senior Manuel Karam. Karam, starting for the first time since mid-January, had 14 points, including four three-pointers.

"Manny had a great game for us," said Minton. "He definitely had a lot of help from Howe feeding him the ball when the defense would collapse on Jeff."

Junior Scott Morton was held to only eight points but was still a factor with eight assists, while senior Tarik Kitson led the team with 12 rebounds and also added six points.

Next up for both teams is the regular-season finale against Brockport on Saturday, with the women taking the floor at 6 p.m. followed by the men's game at 8 p.m.