The Geneseo men’s basketball team had an inconsistent weekend, claiming one win and one loss. The Knights played SUNY Oswego on Friday Feb. 17 and SUNY Cortland on Saturday Feb. 18.
The Knights fell short to Oswego 80-75 and despite the short time between games, defeated Cortland 75-73 the next day. Oswego sits atop the division, while Cortland sits at the No. 4 seed in the division.
In the Oswego game the Knights were only down by one, entering the half 35-34. Oswego, however, opened the second half on a 26-12 run, which gave them their largest lead of the game at 14. The Knights fought back and chipped away for the entire game, cutting Oswego’s lead to five with 2:16 remaining, but the Knights comeback campaign was not enough after Oswego made four of six free throws down the line.
The next day, however, was the game that the Knights were looking for. A victory over Cortland on Saturday gave the Knights the 6th and last spot in the SUNYAC Tournament.
The Knights battled the entire game, squeaking out a two-point 75-73 triumph despite Cortland having a chance to win with a shot at the end of the game. Senior guard Justin Ringen netted a team high of 20 points, while junior guard Kevin Crockett scored the Knights last seven points to secure the victory.
“We got a good win against a good Cortland team … it was a game that we had to win to get into the playoffs,” head coach Steve Minton said. “We’re obviously very thrilled about that and happy to get to be practicing yesterday and today.”
While the Knights did shoot 50 percent from the field and hit 17 three-pointers—which was just one shy of their season high—it was the defense that Minton was most proud of.
“We were better defensively than we have been in the last several games,” Minton said. “I was really happy with our defense, happy how we executed some new things that we put in this week.”
The Knights have had a fluctuating season overall. Going into the SUNYAC Tournament, they held a record of 14-11 and had the No. 6 seed in the conference and in the tournament.
Out of their 11 losses, seven of those have come with a loss margin of six points or less, two of which have come from the hands of SUNY Oneonta—their opponent on Tuesday Feb. 21 in the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament.
But despite all of the close losses, the Knights have remained optimistic and positive throughout the entire season.
“We’ve got some pretty good leadership at the top—guys who are motivated and love to be able to compete,” Minton said. “I think our guys can appreciate where they were and what opportunities they had in each of those games.”
The Knights fell to Oneonta, however, on Tuesday Feb. 21, knocking them out of the SUNYAC Tournament and ending their season with an overall record of 14-12.
Senior guards Ringen, John Decker, Jack Eisenberg and Jonathan Cohen played their final game and will be missed next season. As the team looks forward to next season, key contributors like Crockett, freshman guard Tommy Eastman and sophomore guard CJ Burke look to build on this year’s 14-12 record.