The women's basketball team dropped two important conference games on Feb. 3 and 4 against SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Oneonta, respectively. The Knights have now lost four of their last six conference games, falling to 12-8 on the season and 7-6 in SUNYAC play.
"I was certainly disappointed that we couldn't come out of the weekend with a victory," said head coach Scott Hemer. "We cannot seem to get them to pull it together and play together for 40 minutes. We've got a wide array of people that haven't stepped up and that doesn't just include upperclassmen or people putting the ball in the basket."
Against the Hawks, the Knights dominated the boards, 43-35, but struggled offensively, shooting just 28 percent from the field and committing 22 turnovers. They also had trouble stopping New Paltz junior Alex McCullough who scored 22 points on 5-6 shooting from behind the arc. Despite only a five-point deficit going into halftime, the Hawks used a 16-3 run halfway through the second half to put the game out of reach as the Knights fell, 60-45.
"I don't know if it's a confidence issue or that they simply don't know how to persevere through adversity, but we do not face challenges head on and we often wait too long to fight back," said Hemer. "They're more than capable basketball-wise. It's the mental part that's going to be their challenge."
Geneseo didn't fare much better against the Red Dragons who quickly buried the Knights in a 12-point halftime deficit. In the first half, the Knights took a total of 16 three-point shots, making only one, while shooting 22 percent from the field.
In the second half, however, the Knights came out much stronger outscoring their opponents 42-37. First year Cara Manfredi hit five three-pointers for a career-high 16 points in the second half, finishing the day 5-11 from three-point range. The Knights couldn't complete the comeback, however, falling 68-61.
"We were on the plus side of the scoreboard in the second half, but again the game of basketball is a tale of two halves and that was a prime example of not committing to the plan and digging ourselves too deep of a hole to claw out of," said Hemer.
Last season the Knights played by the unofficial motto of "no excuses," winning 26 games and a SUNYAC title. Although this year's squad is certainly different they don't lack in ability, just the same type of mental toughness – and the excuses are mounting.
"Unfortunately it's a lot of excuses and that's the disappointing part," said Hemer. "I think we all have a wide variety of excuses at this point and as we all know when you're in that mode it just does not equal long term success."
The Knights certainly have the talent to be successful and will still have the opportunity to right the ship before the first round of the SUNYAC playoffs.
"They really are a special collection of individuals and there is something to be said about that, it's just disappointing that they haven't found a way yet to overcome adversity," said Hemer.
Geneseo travels to Buffalo State College and SUNY Fredonia on Feb. 10 and 11, respectively.
"We don't have any more games that are bigger than another," said Hemer. "At this point every game that we lose moves us further down in the standings."