It was Dec. 4, 2010 when head coach Scott Hemer called out his team for inconsistent play following two straight losses to Roberts Wesleyan College and William Smith College. That was almost eight weeks and 10 victories ago.
Since then, the Geneseo women's basketball team has not lost a game, earning victories over SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Brockport. The Knights are now 14-2 overall, 9-0 in the SUNYAC and sit at first place in the conference rankings.
"I believe we came back [from winter break] with a common purpose," Hemer said. "[The players] seem to buy into that not only as individuals but as a team and we've simply rolled from there."
The Knights' run started with a decisive victory over Alfred University and a tough but successful north country road trip to SUNY Plattsburg and SUNY Potsdam.
Even when the Knights haven't been on their game, they've found a way to win. Against Buffalo State, the women overcame an almost insurmountable 20-point deficit to win by nine points in overtime. "Confidence was high and is high and should be high; we've worked hard to get to this point," Hemer said. "I give our young ladies a lot of credit … they've shown a lot of character."
This past weekend the Knights continued their impressive run with victories over SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland. "We knew those were going to be big games going into the season," Hemer said. "Not only did we make sure that we took care of business and defended our home court … but we had some decisive victories not necessarily by the final score but with how we played."
It's always a big deal when Geneseo takes down Cortland, but on Saturday the Knights did more than just win: they did so with balance and poise. "Anytime you can beat someone of that stature it's an exciting win," Hemer said. "This team … has worked hard and committed themselves to creating a winning culture here and I think they saw that opportunity on Saturday to showcase the culmination of their efforts."
As a testament to their balance, the Knights had four players score in double digits against the Red Dragons, including junior Alyssa Polosky, who led the team with 20 points and senior Khadija Campbell who scored 16 points with 10 rebounds.
"Coach reminds us every day that we have a target on our backs and it's very true," wrote Campbell in an e-mail interview. "We are very aware but I think we are at that point where we are willing to accept that and prove night by night why we should be number one." On Tuesday, the Knights again worked some magic, defeating SUNY Fredonia 80-71 in overtime. Campbell led the way, scoring nine of the team's 15 points in the overtime period, and sophomore Melissa Graham added 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks of her own.
In spite of their success, the Knights have work to do. "I think we've clearly demonstrated what we are capable of doing when we bring it all to the floor both physically and mentally," Hemer said. "The struggle is finding our mental focus each and every day and that is something that we have to overcome if we are going to finish this magical journey that we started."
"It should be fun to watch. It's not every day that you get out to a start like this. It just doesn't happen," he added.
The Knights travel to Brockport on Friday with every intention of continuing their impressive run. "When this group is clicking on all cylinders they are fun to watch and this past month is as good as we've played since I've been here," Hemer said.