The Geneseo women’s basketball team fell short in the Wendy’s College Classic on Saturday Dec. 5. Losing in the championship game to Division II Roberts Wesleyan College by a slim score of 54-51, the Knights were nearly able to come close to a Wendy’s tournament title that has eluded their grip for years now. To the Knights’ credit, they have only lost by three or fewer points in all three of those championship appearances.
Opening the tournament against the seventh-seed Rochester Institute of Technology, Geneseo faced an opening round scare and squeezed by with a 58-56 victory. A slow first quarter for the Knights left them with a deficit early and left them going into the half down by seven points and were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game. A strong second half in which the Knights outscored RIT by nine also had a 12-3 run for Geneseo late in the fourth quarter. That provided Geneseo with just enough to win.
As they have shown all season, the strong play in the post sparked the Geneseo victory, as the women more than doubled RIT’s points in the paint. Led inside by senior forward Allison McKenna’s 14 point and eight rebound performance and accompanied by junior guard Katie Durand’s play, the women were able to find just enough offense to get by.
Securing another close, yet more decisive victory in the semifinals against the University of Rochester, Geneseo came out on top 56-48. It was a career night for junior forward Katie Vienneau, who led the Knights with her terrific shooting and scored a game-high 21 points on eight of 12 shooting, while also falling a rebound short of a double-double.
Though eventually falling in the final to Roberts Wesleyan, the women perhaps had one of their grittier performances of the season—coming back from a 13 point deficit going into the fourth quarter and bringing the score within three points. In a game in which they shot a mere 32.8 percent, the Knights losing by only three points in the final seconds shows that even on nights when the shot is not falling, the women can hang in there and find ways to compete with anyone.
“Our expectations are to really take the season one game at a time and have confidence to beat anyone we play,” freshman forward McKenna Brooks said.
Following a matchup against Misericordia University on Jan. 2, the women start off conference play with three straight home games. If they continue to follow the formula they have built so far of outrebounding and controlling the paint, these Knights can go as far as they want. They have shown everyone that they have just enough talent as anyone out there. What it really comes down to is whether or not they can keep the mistakes to a minimum.