Geneseo men’s basketball lost 98-79 to SUNY Brockport on Friday Feb. 3. This marks the third consecutive loss for the Knights, and although the team knows the importance that the rest of the season brings, they are not discouraged.
“We knew going up there that Brockport is a very physical team and very good defensively,” head coach Steve Minton said.
Minton noted that the team played well for the majority of the first half, showing their opponent that they had a real match in Geneseo. Once they hit the four-minute mark though, the Knights fell into a lull and ended the half on the wrong end of a seven-point deficit.
The Knights fell behind 10 points in the middle of the second half, but had a run, cutting the Brockport lead to two points thanks to three-pointers shot by senior guard Justin Ringen and sophomore guard C.J. Burke. Although the team did what they had been practicing—playing with a composed mind and not letting the physical nature of the other team bother them—there were missed opportunities characterized by a few missed open shots and foul shots.
“At that point, we were battling the score and the clock,” Minton said. The last few minutes of play led to the outcome.
This was not what the team was hoping for, as they were coming off back-to-back losses. With only four more regular season games, the Knights are keeping the past behind them and instead are focusing hard on how they can end the season on a high note.
“Now practices are a lot more mental than physical: we can talk and watch more things and we don’t need to go out and execute them as much,” Minton said.
The team has played all the SUNYAC opponents once already; as a result, the Knights can more easily look at film and can focus on what the other team is doing in addition to how the Knights should play to best combat their opponents.
Geneseo takes to the road for back-to-back games against SUNY Oneonta on Friday Feb. 10 and SUNY New Paltz on Saturday Feb. 11. While having two games in one weekend does stimulate momentum, teams can often get lost in the “tendency to prepare more for the Friday game and watch a little film for Saturday,” according to Minton.
The 12-9 Knights hope to play to their capabilities and to get out of their most recent slump.
“With Oneonta, there are two main keys: we’re going to put focus on their point guard and their other best player,” Minton said.
Geneseo lost its only other game to Oneonta early in the season. One player controls most of the distribution while the other controls most of the scoring, so keeping the ball out of Oneonta’s hands is an essential part of the Knight’s game plan.
“New Paltz is a very disciplined team where we have to sustain our defensive possessions for 30 seconds,” Minton said.
New Paltz is more likely to hold their possession for the whole 30 seconds, while many other teams will take a shot well before that.
The Knights are continuing to hold their ground in SUNYAC standings—but playing well in these two games will be very beneficial for the Knights, both in ranking and in mentality for the players.