The Geneseo women’s basketball team is off to an exceptional start to their 2017-18 season.
The men and women were both in action against the SUNYAC Affiliate Morrisville State Mustangs last week in Geneseo. Most students had already traveled back home for Thanksgiving by Nov. 21 when the women took on Morrisville.
The pre-Thanksgiving festivity resulted in home opener wins for both Knights teams and boosted the women to their third win of the year.
“We are pretty confident in our ability to win games,” sophomore guard Sara Ciotti said.
Despite low student turnout to the game, the women still put on a show—scoring 90 points to Morrisville’s 63. Geneseo junior forward McKenna Brooks managed 21 points, a season high for the Knights. Freshman forward Kerrin Montgomery also set a season high of 11 rebounds in the home opener.
After an explosive season opening win against the Houghton College Highlanders on Nov. 15, the Knights traveled to Grantham, Pa. to face the Messiah College Falcons in the Hampton Inn Tip-Off Classic.
The Falcons showed Geneseo why they are regarded as one of the toughest teams in the northeast by holding the Knights to a 12-point deficit. After their 63-51 loss to Messiah, the Knights went on to defeat the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets 73-59 on Nov. 19.
The Knights lost five of their starters from last year, creating an aura of uncertainty leading into this season. With five games under their belt, however, the women are beginning to show potential moving forward with the rest of their busy schedule.
“Not only are [the freshmen] finding their place, there’s a lot of younger girls that are starting,” Ciotta said. “They are really mending well with the team.”
Traditionally, upperclassmen receive more playing time due to their experience and skill level. This freshman class, however, has proven that they are worthy of substantial time on the court.
In fact, freshmen guards Natalie Alfieri and Lindsay Halpin lead the team in average playing time with 25.3 minutes. On top of that, Alfieri has started the first five games for the Knights this season. Halpin leads the team with 17 assists on the season, and freshman forward Kerrin Montgomery leads the team in rebounds per game with an average of 8.
Although the freshmen have been successful this season, veterans like Brooks and Ciotti continue to serve as leaders on and off the court. With SUNYAC play right around the corner, the team is enthusiastic about the games ahead.
“Moving forward, we are excited to get into conference play,” Ciotti said. “I think it’s going to be a really good season.”
The women added another win to their record as they defeated Alfred University 68-34 on Tuesday Nov. 28. The Knights currently hold a 4-1 record, which they aim to continue improving.
Geneseo will head out to SUNY Oneonta to begin a weekend of conference play starting Friday Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. The Knights will take on a familiar opponent, SUNY New Paltz, on Saturday Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.
The New Paltz Hawks had beat Geneseo by one point in the SUNYAC Championship game last year, thus ending a perfect season and stealing the trophy from the Knights. With both teams losing a large number of seniors, Saturday’s game is a much-anticipated match.