Women’s basketball takes two before SUNYAC championship

The Geneseo women’s basketball team ended its season with wins against SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State College on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 with scores of 59-47 and 56-44, respectively.

While the score indicates a thorough win against Fredonia, the Blue Devils led the Knights by one at the end of the first half with a score of 22-21.

“In the first half, we were fortunate that we were only down by one point considering we turned the ball over 17 times,” head coach Scott Hemer said.

Turnovers seemed to be a continual problem in the game as the Knights committed 21 total. Despite that, Hemer said that he was happy that the team was able to get back on track in the second half.

“To give our players credit, late in that game, they really did a nice job recommitting and getting on the same page and doing enough to pull away for a win,” Hemer said.

Sophomore Cara Manfredi scored a team-high 15 points and captured seven rebounds while playing a total of 26 minutes.

Hemer said that Manfredi’s skill set provides a “great spark for us” and that she received more playing time because the game against Fredonia was a game in which “we obviously needed an offensive spark.”

In their final home contest, the Knights tallied another win, but shot a dismal 31 percent from the floor. Senior Melissa Graham scored 10 points – the only Geneseo player to hit double digits.

“I think the one thing it clearly says about the team is that [our] strength is our defense and our rebounding,” Hemer said of the fueled the win, despite the Knights’ shooting woes.

The Knights’ defensive prowess proved too strong, stopping player of the year candidate junior Bianca Smiley.

The Buffalo State forward averages 14 points and eight rebounds a game, but could not post similar numbers against the Knights as she was held to only four points and three rebounds.

“You’re not always going to be able to control whether or not your shot’s falling every night, but you certainly control what your defensive effort is and commitment,” Hemer said. “As long as we continue to do that, we’ll find ourselves in a good position to win games moving forward.”

The Knights receive a bye due to their second seed. Depending on the outcome, the Knights will either face SUNY Oswego or SUNY Cortland in the semifinals on Feb. 22.

“At this point, we know who we are and that’s really what we’ve got to take care of,” Hemer said prior to the playoff game. “For us, it’s really focusing on taking care of the ball, defending and rebounding and if we can do those three things, I think we’re as good as anybody in our conference.”