The Geneseo women’s basketball team has been off to a hot start in January––winning eight games and losing just one in its conference––to put the team at the top of the SUNYAC standings. The Knights were able to solidify their first place spot with a huge win over SUNY Cortland on Jan. 20.
Being down by as many as 19 points in the first half, Geneseo battled back to tie the game at 52 at the end of regulation, winning in overtime by a score of 68-64. Head coach Scott Hemer noted that he was ecstatic with how his team played.
“I’ve always felt what makes a team truly special is the ability to trust in each other enough that it doesn’t have to be the same go-to player every game,” Hemer said. “If you can get to a point where opponents try to take away one aspect of your game and you can get others to step up, then you’ve put yourself in a position to have a strong run at success.”
Both the men and women’s basketball teams spent considerable time on campus before the general student population returned, coming back to start practices on Dec. 30. Hemer stressed that the period of time with no classes and just basketball could only improve his team.
“Early in the season, we had a lot of injuries and we learned a lot about our character. The women found ways to persevere and they are learning to win,” Hemer said. “We aren’t looking for them to be perfect, but to look for the perfect effort in every game. If we buy into that, they can have a strong finish to the season.”
The Knights are currently 12-4 overall, with an 8-1 record in SUNYAC play. If the Knights can maintain the number one spot in the conference, they will host the SUNYAC Tournament at the end of February.
“[Playing at home is] a huge mental advantage for your players. We haven’t lost at home yet this year and we tend to play better at home and our routine can be much more set in place,” Hemer said. “That being said, we are trying not to look at that, but more just doing what we can to give ourselves a chance to win at the end.”
The Knights have several hurdles in order to maintain their position in the standings. They have yet to face SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta and Buffalo State in the coming weeks. The Knights will be well prepared for their next competition when they take on SUNY Brockport on Friday Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.