Men’s basketball sweeps weekend: Battle for home playoff game heats up

The men's basketball team got back on track last weekend, posting two conference wins on its home court, boosting its record to 10-10 on the season.

On Friday Feb. 3, the Knights took down SUNY New Paltz, 81-73. Sophomore Connor Fedge led the way for the Knights with 20 points in 33 minutes, while sophomore Jordan Jones and senior Mike Hoy combined for 13 points in the second half.

"New Paltz plays a man-to-man system, but they aren't as strong defensively in transition as other teams in the conference," head coach Steve Minton said. "[Fedge] got out in transition and really opened up the game for us in the second half."

On Feb. 4 against SUNY Oneonta, Geneseo topped the conference's weakest team, 67-57. The Knights upped their game in the second half, shooting 62 percent from the floor with four Knights finishing in double figures. Junior Ryan Riefenhauser led the team with 15 points. 

"I was very pleased with how we played during a weekend that was difficult to prepare for," Minton said. 

It won't get any easier for Geneseo who will hit the road to face second place Buffalo State College on Friday Feb. 10. Geneseo will also take on SUNY Fredonia on Feb. 11 who are only one spot behind the Knights in the SUNYAC standings and beat them on Geneseo's home court in mid-January.

A sweep this weekend would do wonders for securing Geneseo a home playoff game. Currently, the fourth-place Knights would host a home game in the first round with Fredonia and SUNY Brockport tight on their tails, both one game back.

Obviously, a win over Fredonia would be helpful in giving the Knights some breathing room, but Brockport, Geneseo's travel partner, will also play Buffalo State and Fredonia this weekend. 

"Getting two wins and a Brockport loss would go a long way in securing a home game," Minton said. 

"The Buffalo State game will be a lot like the Oswego approach, trying to slow the pace of the game down and play defensively," Minton said. "Then when we face Fredonia, they'll be looking to slow things down and we'll have to speed the pace back up." 

Minton continued, "That's one of our strengths. We are resilient in adapting to change and adversity. We had a tough home loss to Fredonia, but we responded the next night to a new game plan and beat a ranked Buffalo State team."

Geneseo needs no more motivation for the upcoming weekend than the prime playoff position.

"We want that home game and we want a nice crowd, too," Minton said. 

The Knights tip-off against Buffalo State in Buffalo at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 and match up against Fredonia the following day at 4 p.m.