Men's basketball loses two straight

Despite a strong defensive effort, the men's basketball team dropped both of their last two games against SUNY Brockport and SUNY Fredonia.

On Friday, Brockport visited and defeated Geneseo, 55-50, while Tuesday the Knights fell to Fredonia, 66-58. Head coach Steve Minton credited a lack of offensive production in both games as being the main reason for the losses.

The Golden Eagles matched Geneseo's strong defense Friday night with an impressive display of their own. Geneseo caught steam at the end of the first half, holding Brockport to just one point in the last few minutes to snatch a 26-20 lead.

In the second half, however, several timely three-pointers from Brockport helped to put the game out of reach for Geneseo. Senior Brandon Simpson scored eight first-half points and contributed a team-high nine rebounds, while sophomore John Drazan led Geneseo with 13 points.

The game marks Drazan's third straight double-digit scoring effort, giving the team a much needed offensive alternative now that teams have "keyed in on Brandon and [senior] Kyle [Stevens]," according to Minton.

"We did some things well," Minton noted. "We caught some breaks, but some things were out of our control." Out of control may explain Geneseo's 26 turnovers or 50 percent shooting from the foul line; factors which could have made the difference in Friday's game.

Minton said his team entered the Tuesday's game against the Blue Devils with two goals: win the rebound battle and control their turnovers. Despite accomplishing both goals - outrebounding the Blue Devils 32-26 and committing only 12 turnovers - Geneseo could not convert their success into a win.

The team shot just 44 percent from the field, but Minton says free throws could have made up for the scoring slump, as Geneseo made it to the charity stripe 45 times but only converted 20 chances. Minton said of his team's struggles, "Those small points change the way you play the game down the stretch."

Geneseo also had trouble stopping Fredonia freshman Joseph Monahan, who laid into the Knights for 22 points. Sophomore Abe Miller shot 6-8 from the floor on his way to a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Stevens contributed 14 points in the losing effort.

Miller, Drazan and fellow sophomore Mike Hoy, who scored eight points Tuesday, make up the core group of underclassmen who Minton claimed "have improved by leaps and bounds this year." He added that these are the three who he expects to lead the Knights in the future.

Despite his optimism for what's to come, Minton said the team needs to "focus on the present and do what we need to do to win." Geneseo travels up to take on SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam in the final weekend before the SUNYAC playoffs.