Knights look to secure seed in SUNYACs

The Geneseo men’s basketball team enjoyed wins over both SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Oneonta on Friday Feb. 13 and Saturday Feb. 14, respectively. Against New Paltz, the Knights defeated the Hawks 76-65. Senior forward James McKenna scored a career-high 26 points with 10 rebounds in the game, while senior forward Gordon Lyons was limited due to foul trouble. Senior guard Andy Drescher also added to the total, chipping in 20 points including scoring catalytic three-pointers. The Knights continued to pile on wins as they defeated Oneonta 87-67. Lyons bounced back to score 27 points and added 14 rebounds and nine assists. Lyons, McKenna, Drescher, senior forward Devon Anderson and senior guard Connor Rogers were honored in a pre-game senior day ceremony.

After the five-game win streak, head coach Steve Minton said that the team was “finally overcoming some adversity.”

“We had to learn to play without Kevin Crockett and the other part is Gordon [Lyons] getting healthy,” Minton said. “We were just learning to play a little better without certain players; we had to get everyone healthy and we shifted the starting line-up a bit.”

Minton noted that the starting line-up adjustment was used to shift the team to be a little smaller. “It allows us to get back on defense a little better––a quicker transition,” he said.

Minton also said that the win streak was on account of strong play from the supporting cast, not just Lyons.

“The other big thing, along with the play of [Lyons], that has been the talk of the SUNYAC, is that [Drescher] and [McKenna] have raised their bar,” Minton said. “They are playing very well with [Lyons] and it makes it difficult for teams to key in on him.”

When looking ahead to future games for the Knights, Minton added that there are no guaranteed wins. Before the Knights’ matchup with the SUNY Oswego Lakers on Tuesday Feb. 17, Minton said that if his team lost, “It gets muddy.”

And muddy it became as the Knights lost to Oswego 76-64 in Geneseo’s final home game. The Knights battled hard, but were unable to keep up with the Lakers’ hot hand as they torched the Knights with 10 three-pointers on 43.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Geneseo has two road games before the SUNYAC Tournament begins. The Knights play against SUNY Potsdam on Friday Feb. 20 and then finish the regular season against SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday Feb. 21.

“We can’t look past Potsdam. They only have one league win, but historically we haven’t played pretty well up there,” Minton said. “We hope to win these next few games.”

The SUNYAC Tournament is set to begin on Tuesday Feb. 24.