The Geneseo women’s basketball team has clinched a playoff spot in the SUNYACs once again.
This feat is no surprise, as the team is still holding on to a perfect record at 21-0. Not only are the women four wins away from completing a perfect regular season, but they are potentially one game away from clinching a No. 1 or 2 seed, guaranteeing them a first round bye.
This advantage can easily be captured with a win over the 13-8 SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons on Friday Feb. 10.
Geneseo squared off with the Red Dragons back in December at Geneseo. The game was anything but a cakewalk, as the Knights slipped away with a 48-40 victory. The Red Dragons led by five points at the half, and had it not been for Geneseo’s outstanding defense in the third quarter—which held Oneonta to three points—the Knights would have most likely been served their first loss of the season.
With Oneonta going 8-2 in their last 10 games, the upcoming matchup will certainly be an intense one—especially since Geneseo’s perfect record is at stake.
“I think these players have made it a priority that come February, they’re in a position to compete for a conference championship game,” head coach Scott Hemer said. “I don’t think being 20-0 or 16-4 changes that. They have the same goals and objectives, and although it’s a little more stressful on them mentally, I think it doesn’t change the way they approach each game.”
The Knights last game was just another example of their incredible team dynamic. The women faced the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles away on Friday Feb. 3. The team cooperation was evident, as the Knights won 64-51.
Key players in this game included sophomore guard Kelsey Poplawski—who scored eight points of the Knights 22 points in the third quarter—and senior guard Kara Houppert, who had a stellar night, putting up a team-high of 15 points alongside eight rebounds. Senior guard Katie Durand also continued her strong season, scoring seven points, currently leading the team in points per game with 11 percent.
Assuming the Knights continue the winning trends that they’ve basked in this season, they will find themselves in favorable contention for not only a No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament, but also in the NCAA Tournament.
The NCAA Tournament will begin shortly after the SUNYAC Championship game, which is scheduled for Feb. 25. The Knights acceptance into the NCAA Tournament will be indicative of how they finish the season and of their performance in the SUNYAC Tournament.
Geneseo has made it deep into the NCAA Tournament a few times over the past couple decades. Given their current dynamic and statistics, the 2016-17 women’s team looks like a strong contender for a high seeding slot.