For the Geneseo men’s basketball team, this past weekend was both disappointing and exciting for a team looking to maintain consistency.
The men currently sit at No. 5 in the SUNYAC standings with a record of 9-8 after their games on Friday Jan. 19 at SUNY Plattsburgh and Saturday Jan. 20 at SUNY Potsdam.
The game against Plattsburgh ended in a 79-73 loss for the Knights. Although the men shot better from the field and at the line than their opponent did, they were defeated due to limited bench scoring and a failure to prevent Plattsburgh from collecting offensive rebounds.
Plattsburgh tallied 19 second chance points off those offensive rebounds, and their bench outscored the Knights 39-2. Head coach Steve Minton attributed the rebound issues to poor positioning.
“If you don’t have an initial good, solid box out, then they get to the boards and you can’t get a box out at that point,” Minton said.
The Knights are typically a solid rebounding team, so on a night when they did not perform as successfully, it hurt them.
“If we’d done better in that category we might have had a chance to pull it out,” junior guard Quinn Carey said.
It was a game the team may wish they could have back, but the weekend was not over and the men would show up to play the following night.
The Knights managed a thrilling 76-74 victory over Potsdam the following day. The men fought hard and generated 22 points off of turnovers in what was a back and forth affair.
The end of the game was a hectic series of plays that ended with Geneseo junior guard Zack Panebianco making the winning shot with only 1.4 seconds left on the clock. Panebianco finished with 10 points.
After a tough loss the night before, a scrappy victory like this can do a lot for a team’s confidence. It is a win the men can hope to build on and use to gain momentum moving forward.
“Winning tight games is good because you can learn from those games,” senior guard Kevin Crockett said.
The team understands the significance of such an exciting win and will look to channel that enthusiasm into more wins in the back half of the season.
The exhilarating victory does not erase the woes from the previous night’s loss. The Knights will work to fix up some of their shortcomings in the coming days. Injuries have resulted in a lack of depth, and the team plans to solve this problem by getting players accustomed to new roles.
“We need to get more reps for those guys, get them familiar with having different roles in sets,” Minton said.
With some hard work in practice, the team should be able to put its best foot forward. The Knights will host SUNY Oswego on Friday Jan. 26 and SUNY Cortland on Saturday Jan. 27. Cortland currently sits at the top of the SUNYAC standings and will be a formidable opponent.
A strong game against Cortland will send a message to the rest of the conference that the Knights can play with anyone and that they should not be taken lightly as this season moves forward.