Men’s basketball splits weekend against Plattsburgh, Potsdam

The men's basketball team hosted a two-game series over the weekend. The Knights defeated SUNY Potsdam, 84-63 on Friday but dropped a 58-67 decision to SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday. The team has advanced its record to 9-11 overall and to 3-10 in SUNYAC play.

The Knights commenced Friday's game against Potsdam with aggression and dominance. Geneseo took the lead at 16 minutes, 48 seconds and maintained it for the rest of the half. The team shot an astounding 81 percent from the field in what head coach Steve Minton called "the best shooting half I've ever seen from a Geneseo basketball team." Junior Mike Hoy scored 16 points in the first half, helping to put his team up, 44-28.

At halftime, Minton encouraged his players to "extend the lead" and prevent their opponents from cutting into it. The team took his advice, widening the gap to as much as 28 points with three minutes remaining in the match. Geneseo coasted to an 84-63 final score. Sophomore Ryan Riefenhauser and freshmen Thomas Decker and Connor Fedge contributed 11 points apiece for the Knights.

Minton attributed his team's success to making more shots and "playing with intensity for a full 40 minutes." He also noted the "big boost" from players off the bench and junior Ethan Estabrooks in particular; Estabrooks led the team with 17 points in the match. Freshman Tony Efese was Potsdam's leading scorer, tallying 11 points for the Bears.

Saturday's game against Plattsburgh proved to be more challenging for the Knights. Geneseo shot only 32 percent from the field in the opening half, a stark contrast to the field goal percentage in the first half of Friday's match. The team also had difficulty "contesting Plattsburgh's shots," Minton said. Geneseo trailed by 13 going into halftime.

The Knights played in a similar fashion for much of the second half, allowing Plattsburgh's lead to increase to 15 with eight minutes remaining. Geneseo kicked into gear shortly after, going on a 12-2 run and cutting the opponent's lead to five with five minutes, 42 seconds left in the half. Hoy sunk a pair of three-pointers to propel the run.

The Knights couldn't maintain their pace, however, as the Cardinals gained steam and widened the gap in the game's final moments. With 14 seconds remaining and Geneseo down by six, the Knights took a time-out in hopes of one last push. Plattsburgh denied any chance of a run; senior Josh Bruno landed a foul shot and a layup to extend the lead to nine in the final seconds. The Knights couldn't answer, and the team accepted a 58-67 defeat. Hoy finished the night as Geneseo's top scorer, contributing 19 points to his team. Estabrooks finished with 15 points, and Riefenhauser added eight points and nine rebounds.

Minton listed turnovers and a lack of rebounding as being among the main causes of his team's loss.

The Knights hope to improve their record as they hit the road this weekend, facing SUNY Oneonta on Friday and SUNY New Paltz on Saturday.