The men's basketball team dropped both of its away games this weekend, forgoing a playoff spot and closing out the season at 5-13 in SUNYAC play and 11-14 overall. The Knights lost to SUNY Cortland 58-68 on Friday and dropped a 50-54 decision to SUNY Oswego on Saturday.
Geneseo played a strong first half on Friday against Cortland, shooting particularly well from the 3-point arc and permitting few turnovers. Freshman Thomas Decker sunk two 3-pointers, helping his team go 44 percent from the arc in the first half. Sophomore Ryan Riefenhauser hit a layup and a free throw with 36 seconds remaining to narrow his team's deficit to 31-32 at the half.
"It was a very physical half. We knew [the second half] would be a struggle," head coach Steve Minton said.
The score remained close in the second half as play bounced back and forth. A 3-pointer from junior Ethan Estabrooks followed by two free throws from sophomore Lamont Stokes secured a 49-47 lead for Geneseo with eight minutes, 15 seconds left in the half. This led to a major turning point of the game, however, when Cortland called a timeout and immediately commenced an 18-3 run, obtaining a 65-52 lead with only 32 seconds remaining. The Knights could only cut the lead to 10 and they accepted a final score of 58-68. Riefenhauser led the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds and junior Mike Hoy contributed 10 points.
The Knights struggled in their first half versus Oswego on Saturday, trailing from the start of the game and allowing a deficit for the remainder of the half. The team was down by 14 with under a minute to go in the half, but senior Nate Cornish hit a jumper with 18 seconds left to cut the score to 19-31 at intermission.
We made some good adjustments at halftime," Minton said, and the team came out with aggression at the start of the second half. With 14 minutes, 15 seconds remaining, Hoy scored eight points of a 9-0 run to tie the score at 33. Hoy continued to be a powerful presence, and his pair of free throws gave Geneseo a 44-43 lead at six minutes, 10 seconds. With five minutes remaining and the score tied at 46, the Knights allowed a series of turnovers that resulted in an eight-point run for Cortland. Junior Abe Miller made two layups to cut the deficit to four, but his efforts fell short as the team suffered a final 50-54 loss. Hoy finished with 23 points overall.
As he reflected on the season, Minton stated that he was pleased with his team's progress, "especially from a defensive standpoint."