Women’s basketball to host conference championship

Sophomore guard Kelsey Poplawski looks for an open teammate to pass to during a game against SUNY Plattsburgh. The Knights remain undefeated and hope to maintain this victory streak. (Keith Walters/Campus Photographer)

Geneseo women’s basketball has once again clinched the best record in the SUNYACs. Currently at 23-0, the Knights have locked down the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which will begin on Feb. 24.

The women are coming off a victorious weekend tour of the Catskills. Geneseo faced the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons on Friday Feb. 10. The result was a 22nd consecutive win for the Knights as they defeated Oneonta 55-38. 

The biggest story of this game, however, was the emergence of sophomore forward McKenna Brooks. Oswego native Brooks put up 15 points the entire game and managed to get 10 rebounds, both of which led the team. 

On top of those stats, it must also be noted that Brooks played a total of 15 minutes, meaning she scored on average one point every minute. This game prompted Brooks to be given the title of SUNYAC Player of the Week.

Following the win in Oneonta, the Knights traveled farther east to face the SUNY New Paltz Hawks. The Knights hosted New Paltz earlier in the season and beat them 66-47. This game yielded a similar result, as the Knights picked up yet another win by a score of 56-39 on Saturday Feb. 11. 

Brooks once again took control against Oneonta, putting up a total of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

“We’ve been in the championship game the last six of seven years; it’s something that has become a bit of an expectation,” head coach Scott Hemer said. 

So the women’s basketball team clinched the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament—what’s the big deal? Well, there are many. 

First, this means that Geneseo will be the host of the 2016-17 Conference Championship game no matter what two teams are competing for the championship. In other words, even if Geneseo does not make it to the championship, the game will still be hosted in Geneseo. 

Home field advantage is a major perk, too.  Assuming the women keep performing at the level they have thus far, there is a strong chance they will be hosting a tournament championship in front of their home crowd. 

Another major benefit of clinching the No. 1 seed is the fact that the Knights will receive a first round bye, which means that Geneseo will face either the No. 4, 5 or 6 seed in the tournament semifinals. This, too, will be held at the women’s home court.

Another exciting event the basketball team is in contention for is the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Knights are currently ranked No. 18 in the nation for women’s basketball. 

Although the Knights have a perfect season, they are in a very weak division for basketball, causing the NCAA to rank them lower than teams that have up to three losses. Despite the low ranking, however, the Knights could still see success on the national level.

Geneseo will finish out the regular season play against the SUNY Oswego Lakers at 7:30 p.m. on Friday Feb. 17 and will host the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons on Saturday Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.