The Geneseo women's basketball team earned two tough victories this past weekend as they beat both SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in SUNYAC play.
The Knights' victory over the Lakers capped off a grueling stretch that had them playing four games in six days. Despite the difficulty of playing so many games in such a short period of time, the Knights went 3-1 in that time span including two road wins this weekend.
"Anytime you can go on the road and play back-to-back games and come home with a victory it's considered a good weekend; when you come home with two wins it's a great weekend," Geneseo head coach Scott Hemer said.
The highlight of the weekend came on Friday when the Knights dethroned Cortland by a score of 61-52.
The Knights jumped on Cortland early in taking a 12-4 lead to start the game, but the Red Dragons didn't back down and responded by scoring 14 consecutive points for an 18-12 lead.
In the waning minutes of the first half Geneseo was able to gain some ground on the Dragons as first-year Melissa Graham sank a three-pointer and junior Khadija Campbell added a key layup that put the Knights within three points at the break.
"Cortland is the top team in our conference and I'm sure no one thought we were going to be able to stay in the game with them - and we love that," Campbell said. "That is the fuel that sparks our fire every night we step on the court."
Midway through the second half the Knights took the lead for good on a three-point shot by sophomore Katelyn Charbonneau and held on to it thanks to sophomore Bri Dunton, who scored all of her eight points in the final 1:13 of the game.
"The best thing about this team is that on any given night, anyone can step up," said Dunton, who shut the door on Cortland, putting the Knights up 56-49 in the fourth quarter.
"I thought that the best thing that our athletes demonstrated this weekend was their ability to maintain their poise through adversity," Hemer said. "It was Cortland who lost their poise in the last five minutes, not Geneseo, and I think that was the big difference."
The Knights stepped up once again the following night against Oswego as they buried the Lakers 54-46. Geneseo benefitted from an extremely poor shooting effort from the Lakers, who shot 29 percent from the floor and made only one of 22 three-point attempts.
After dominating the first half the Knights fell behind when the Lakers went on a 16-5 run, taking a 32-31 second half lead. Like the night before, however, Geneseo persevered and went on a 17-2 run to close out the game, winning by eight. Dunton led the way for the Knights, scoring 17 points on the night. Junior Alyssa Polosky posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"It would have been very easy to throw in the towel at some point this weekend and they never did," Hemer said. "I can't say enough about the character of these girls."
The Knights return to action after break on Jan. 5 at SUNY Brockport.