The men's basketball team split its away series over the weekend, starting with an upsetting 62-64 loss to SUNY Oneonta on Friday followed by a 58-46 win over SUNY New Paltz on Saturday. Geneseo has moved to 4-11 in SUNYAC play and 10-12 overall.
The Knights had a slow start to Friday's game against Oneonta, allowing their opponents a 9-0 run to secure a 22-9 lead in the 13th minute. That run was led by senior Brian Hooks, who hit a 3-pointer and a layup for the Red Dragons. A pair of layups from senior Mike Baker and a 3-pointer from junior Ethan Estabrooks helped Geneseo narrow the gap to 22-16, but Oneonta quickly transitioned to a 9-2 run to put the Red Dragons up 31-18 at the half.
Geneseo started the second half lethargically, allowing the gap to widen to 16 at 18 minutes, 33 seconds. Shortly afterward, the Knights kicked into gear to close the deficit. Sophomore Ryan Riefenhauser hit a jumper, and junior Abe Miller and sophomore Mike Hoy each added layups to cut the Dragons' lead to two points with five minutes remaining.
The teams remained in stride for the rest of the half, never straying further than six points from one another. Estabrooks nailed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining, cutting Geneseo's deficit to one point, but Hooks sunk a foul shot with 14 seconds left and granted Oneonta a two-point lead. Though the Knights had "a couple of looks to tie at the end" according to head coach Steve Minton, they couldn't answer and took the 62-64 defeat. Riefenhauser led the team with 16 points, and Miller and Baker finished with 13 points apiece.
"We can't win shooting 50 percent from the foul line. We need to step it up in that avenue," Minton said.
Saturday's game versus SUNY New Paltz was just the sort of revival Geneseo needed. In what Minton called a "tough, physical battle," the first half opened without scoring until nearly the five minute mark, when sophomore Nick Taldi sunk a 3-pointer for the Hawks. Roughly three more minutes went by before the Knights finally scored with freshman Connor Fedge hitting a jumper to put Geneseo on the board at 12 minutes, 31 seconds. The Knights trailed by five before going on a 16-0 run led by junior John Drazan's four layups. Geneseo went into halftime with a 27-20 lead.
The Knights went into the second half with equal intensity, obtaining a 17-point lead with under six minutes of play remaining. Though New Paltz narrowed the gap in the final minutes, Geneseo pulled out a 58-46 win.
"We played with composure and deserved to win. Our seniors helped set a tough and competitive tone," Minton said.
The Knights travel to SUNY Cortland on Friday and SUNY Oswego on Saturday to try to secure a playoff berth.
On Tuesday, the Knights capped off their week with a 50-41 win over SUNY Fredonia.
Geneseo held a slim two-point lead going into halftime but opened up the second half with a 12-1 run. Fredonia responded with a 9-0 run of its own but a layup by junior Abe Miller and a 3-pointer by junior Ethan Estabrooks pulled the Knights ahead for good.
Miller led the Knights, going 8-13 from the field and 2-4 from the line and scoring 18 points with seven rebounds. Freshman Thomas Decker added seven points and senior Mike Baker dished out nine assists as the Knights won two straight games for the first time in over two months.
The Knights improve to 11-12 overall and 5-11 in SUNYAC play.