The Geneseo women’s basketball team finished the Wendy’s College Classic with a thrilling game against the University of Rochester on Dec. 1. Geneseo also won its SUNYAC and home opener against SUNY Cortland on Tuesday Dec. 4.
The Knights worked their way through the Wendy’s College Classic to reach the finals against Rochester. The game ended with a stunning final second 3-pointer by Rochester junior guard Danielle McNabb that gave the team a two-point lead to end the game 60-58.
“We were going to try to force them to take a contested perimeter jump shot. We did it and she nailed it,” head coach Scott Hemer said about the final play.
Hemer said it was a tale of two halves due to foul trouble, out-rebounding and poor free-throw percentage.
Hemer also said, however, that he was happy that the Wendy’s College Classic was a good teaching opportunity for his young team.
“I think that they were able to identify their shortcomings that we need to get stronger and we have to make sure we do a better job of staying consistent throughout an entire 40 minutes,” Hemer said.
Two Geneseo players, sophomore forward Shannon McGinnis and senior guard Melissa Graham, won tournament first-team honors based on their tournament performances.
While Hemer believes that the awards were well-deserved, he said the “underclassmen as a whole have shown a significant amount of composure and poise at this point of the season.”
For Geneseo’s first conference game, the Knights faced Cortland, probably the team’s “biggest rival” according to Hemer in a pregame interview.
“This was a team that knocked us out of the postseason in overtime last year on our own court,” he said. “I’m hoping that one thing I won’t have to do for tomorrow night’s game is to motivate them.”
The team came out with a 69-44 win. McGinnis led the team with 13 points while first-year Allison McKenna pulled a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Cara Manfredi provided a spark off the bench by scoring nine points and shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Every single player saw playing time against the Red Dragons – something that Hemer called a “significant advantage … compared to most of the teams this year.”
“Not only do we have a lot of different options to choose from, each one of them has their own unique talent that they offer to the lineup,” Hemer said.
The Knights hope to continue their conference unbeaten streak when they travel to SUNY Oneonta on Friday Dec. 7.