Men’s basketball works hard for playoff spot

Senior guard Justin Ringen breaks away from the SUNY Plattsburgh defense to get open for his teammate. The Knights are planning to fight hard during their next few games in order to ensure their spot in the SUNYAC play.

Geneseo men’s basketball suffered two tough losses on the road on Friday Jan. 27 and Saturday Jan. 28. The Knights lost to SUNY Cortland 80-69 and with a short turnaround period lost to SUNY Oswego 81-70. Both opponents are worthy competitors, Oswego alone sitting in first place in the SUNYAC Conference. 

“We did not shoot the ball well at all from the perimeter,” head coach Steve Minton said. 

In the Oswego game, the team only shot 3 for 21 at the three-point line, an aspect of the game that Geneseo usually considers one of their best strengths. 

“This has not been something that’s been a problem for us,” Minton said. “We’re a very good shooting team … but not shooting the ball this weekend bit us a little bit.” 

The team had a great first half on Friday Jan. 27, putting up 41 points in addition to defending well and taking the lead in the game. 

“The second half was a flip-flop of the first half,” Minton said. 

Cortland’s resurgence can in part be attributed to great performance at the three-point line, shooting 9 for 15; in comparison, Geneseo shot 6 for 19, which was “not in the area we want to be in,” according to Minton.

Geneseo also lost momentum because they were unable to get to the foul line. As an 81.2 percent foul-shooting team, the Knights rely heavily on those points and unfortunately did not receive the opportunities that they usually do. In the Cortland game, the Knights only shot nine free throws, which proved to be too few.

Geneseo faced the best team currently in the conference in the Saturday Jan. 28 game at Oswego. Minton said that the major problem in that game was that those individuals “were not contained by us.” He continued saying that the Knights’ top scorers did not shoot well and “when that happens we’re not deep enough to overcome it.” 

Despite the recent struggles, everyone on the team is still putting in effort and refusing to get discouraged. Their approach is still optimistic and revolves around “getting out of this hole we’re in,” according to Minton. They continue to use the mindset that persevering mentally helps one to improve physically.

The season is now winding down, meaning that there are no more mid-week games. The Knights look to bounce back, to gain some momentum and to increase their positive energy when they play one game on the road against SUNY Brockport on Friday Feb. 3. 

The Knights were the only loss for Brockport in the SUNYAC Conference before Friday Jan. 27, who also dropped two games this weekend. Geneseo hosted Brockport in early January and won by a large margin with an 86-66 final score. The hope is that the Knights can once again walk away with a win. 

In terms of conference play, this is an important game—especially if the season ends in a tiebreaker situation. The tying teams would be evaluated on their play with each other and the top of the conference. Brockport is currently in second place in the SUNYAC and Geneseo is in the middle of the pack.

“We need a win against Brockport; it’s not going to determine the season, but it would do a lot for us,” Minton said.u