The Geneseo men’s basketball team took on St. John Fisher College Wednesday Dec. 4 in the first round of the 48th annual Wendy’s College Classic tournament. The fifth-seeded Cardinals, who don’t have a single senior on the roster, entered the game with a 1-1 record. Geneseo, at the fourth seed, looked to build off the win against Medaille College Nov. 25.
In the first half, co-captain senior Connor Fedge had five points in as many minutes off the bench while fellow senior Matt Curry made a much bigger impact, scoring 11 points to put the Knights up 38-33 at the half.
Geneseo came out of the locker room very strong, going on a 13-7 run to start the second half – a run that brought juniors Andy Drescher and Gordon Lyons into double figures and gave the Knights an 11-point lead.
St. John Fisher was able to climb back in it, however, and with just over 10 minutes to play, the Cardinals took the lead 55-54 on a 3-pointer from junior Stefan Bock.
From there, the game went back and forth until sophomore Tyler Hart made a jump shot for St. John Fisher as he was fouled. After completing the three-point play, the Cardinals were up 71-69 with 4:04 left.
After that, St. John Fisher was in control. The team went on a 16-10 run to end the game at a score of 87-79. Guard for St. John Fisher junior Adam Ambielli was the leading scorer for either team with 21, and his Cardinals will play SUNY Brockport in the semifinals on Friday Dec 6.
Despite the loss, the Knights still have games to play in the tournament. Geneseo will head to the Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday Dec. 6 to take on the Tigers. After that game, the team will play either Hobart College or Nazareth College on Saturday Dec. 7.
“From that Friday game to that Saturday game, you have to completely change who you’re scouting,” Fedge said.
Luckily for the Knights, one of their biggest strengths is their depth. Nine out of 14 players on the roster are either juniors or seniors.
Geneseo had four players score in double figures: Curry, Drescher, Lyons and co-captain senior Thomas Decker. Fedge finished with eight.
After the Wendy’s tournament, the Knights will play Alfred State on Monday Dec. 9 and then spend three weeks following without a game.
“[The players] try to get together while we’re still on campus during finals week,” Fedge said, “It’s actually a nice break to study and to get together and work out and shoot and play.”
Winter break will also allow Fedge to heal more from a stress fracture in his foot that sidelined him for the first two games of the season. In January 2014, SUNYAC play starts and games will become even more important.