The Geneseo men's basketball team started off the season strong in their home opener against Elmira.
The Blue Knights easily handled the visitors 76-53, led in scoring by seniors Scott Morton and Jeff Howe. Howe shot 12-15 from the field and had a career high 27 points, adding 15 rebounds for a solid double-double. Morton shot 9-17 from the floor - including two three-pointers - to tally 22 points.
With those 22 points, Morton became the 21st player in Geneseo basketball history to reach 1,000 career points (he now has 1,007). Morton also had nine rebounds, four assists and five steals in an impressive all-around performance.
Geneseo coach Steve Minton was especially pleased with the way Morton and Howe played. "If this game was an indication of how those two are going to play this year then our Blue Knight fans should really enjoy coming out to games."
Minton was happy with the entire team play defensively as well, "Overall, what stood out to me was our defensive play," he said. "We were solid for 40 minutes on the defensive end. Holding a team to only 53 points is pretty good."
Other starters such as juniors Brandon Simpson and Kyle Stevens impressed, despite getting in foul trouble early. Minton also noted that sophomore Mike Baker five assists in his first career start.
Elmira was only down 33-26 at halftime, coming within five points at the beginning of the second half, until the Blue Knights retaliated scoring in bunches with a 9-0 run, an 11-0 run and then yet another 9-0 scoring run to stretch the lead to 29 points. They cruised the rest of the way, eventually winning by 23 points.
Despite the impressive win, there is a long season to go. "Offensively, we are going to need some other people to step up," said Minton. "We can't be good with only Morton and Howe doing the scoring."
According to Minton, juniors Kyle Stevens and Brandon Simpson as well as freshman Mike Hoy can add a lot of firepower on offense with junior Jason Segarra as their main perimeter threat.
Minton hopes that soon things will get more balanced offensively. "I don't think this game was a good indicator of what our scoring will be like. Howe isn't going to score 27 every night." Although, he added, that would be just fine with him.
The schedule only gets tougher, starting this weekend at the Gettysburg Tournament in Pennsylvania. The Blue Knights have to face pre-season top 25 teams such as Rowan and Gettysburg. How they fare over the weekend will be a better indication of their season's future.