The Geneseo women’s basketball team kicked off the season on Saturday Nov. 15 and Sunday Nov. 16 in an exciting fashion. Their first game was part of the Damon’s/Hampton Inn Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Wilmington College of Ohio. The Knights defeated the national runner-up in the NCAA Tournament––ranked seventh as of Nov. 4––Whitman College on Sat. Nov 15 by a score of 64-52. The Knights advanced to the championship game, where they were handed their first loss by host Wilmington, 75-68.
The Knights are hoping to make it back to the SUNYAC Tournament Championship. They’ve made it there each of the last three seasons, winning the Championship in 2011. Geneseo is led by senior forward Shannon McGinnis, who is a returning SUNYAC All-Conference first-team selection. McGinnis averaged 15 points per game in the 2013-2014 season, as well as 9.5 rebounds per game. Her ability to rebound and score inside, as well as shoot from beyond the arc—shooting at a rate of .304—makes her a dangerous weapon against other teams.
In the middle for Geneseo is junior forward Allison McKenna. McKenna was a second-team All-Conference SUNYAC selection. Standing at 6 foot 2, McKenna is one of the most dominating forces in the conference. Averaging 11 points per game in the 2013-2014 season and 7.3 rebounds per game, she is a consistent threat in the low post.
The most impressive part about McKenna’s game is her shot-blocking ability. McKenna averaged a SUNYAC-best 2.2 blocks per game last season, which broke her own school record for blocks in a season by two with 61. She also became the Knights’ career leader in rejections with 120 at the end of her sophomore season. McKenna ranked 10th in the conference in rebounds with 7.3 rebounds per game and 19th in points with 11 points per game.
In the backcourt is junior guard Dana Cohan, who is a third-team All-SUNYAC selection. Cohen averaged 10.1 points per game for Geneseo in the 2013-2014 season and also was third in the conference with 4.1 assists per game. She also shot almost 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knights will have their work cut out for them, as many of the other teams in the conference have returning players and depth off the bench. Geneseo has help from the likes of senior center Katie Peterson, who can shoot the threes, as well as sophomore guards Bridgit Ryan and Kayleigh Cavanaugh, who will contribute from long range as well.
Geneseo has the experience of winning in the conference, which will be a huge factor down the stretch—the team finished 13-5 in the SUNYAC last season. The Knights will look to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. Geneseo will play its next game at home versus Juniata College on Saturday Nov. 22 at 2 p.m.