The Geneseo women’s basketball team has secured the second seed in the SUNYAC Tournament after defeating SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh in back-to-back wins.
The three seniors from Geneseo—forwards Allison McKenna and Vanessa Wyckoff and point guard Dana Cohan—were all honored before tipoff versus Plattsburgh. In addition to the senior day festivities, Kelsey Annese was also honored. Her family was in attendance, watching as Geneseo unveiled a banner above the scoreboard that had Annese’s number 32 proudly displayed. The number was retired in her memory.
Geneseo now sits 14-4 in conference play, a mark that is tied with SUNY New Paltz. New Paltz has claimed the first seed, however, and gets to host the conference tournament because they defeated the Knights both times this year.
Geneseo is coming off a great start to 2016, winning 15 of their last 19 games––which includes a current four game win streak—heading into the tournament. With the second seed, Geneseo will have a first round bye, automatically placing them in the final four. The Knights will match up against the winner of the SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Brockport game. The Knights hold a combined record of 3-1 against those teams.
Geneseo will need a large contribution from other players as McKenna and Cohan will undeniably be guarded more closely during the tournament. With the play of junior guards Katie Durand, Kayleigh Cavanaugh and Kara Houppert—as well as freshman forward McKenna Brooks—the Knights can put together an attack that can combat the fast style of play that the other teams in the conference will try to impose.
Cohan is averaging a conference best 5.2 assists per game, which will certainly help the Knights. Her ability to move the ball and find open teammates—as well as her ability to connect from three-point territory—makes Cohan one of the most dangerous threats for opponents.
Additionally, with McKenna averaging eight rebounds per game in conference games—and the team collectively averaging a conference-best 32.4 defensive rebounds per game—the Knights should look to crash the boards and hope that their rebounding can get the job done.
In contrast to schools like Fredonia, Brockport and New Paltz that pride themselves on their ability to get out and move the ball up the court as quickly as possible, Geneseo is not a fast breaking team. If the Knights can get into some rhythm in the half court, however, and run the plays that have gotten them to this point, then the outcome should be in Geneseo’s favor.
This season has been a rollercoaster ride for the women’s team, but they have persevered to get to the top of the league. In order to bring back their second consecutive SUNYAC title, the Knights will not only have to believe in themselves, but believe in the team—and the motto of #OneKnight—in order to cut down the nets once more.