Men’s basketball knocked out of playoffs following loss to Oswego

Sophomore guard Tommy Eastman heads up the court in search of an open net during a game against SUNY New Paltz on Feb. 9. After a loss to SUNY Oswego in the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament, the men’s season ends earlier than they had hoped, despite their hard work and determination. (Elizabeth Jacobs/design & layout editor)

The Geneseo men’s basketball team fell to SUNY Cortland on Friday Feb. 16 and later lost to SUNY Oswego on Saturday Feb. 17.

The Friday night contest against Cortland ended with a score of 52-76. The Knights struggled from the field and made only 34 percent of their shots. The team was even worse from three, converting only 2 of 17 from beyond the arc. It was a tough game on the offensive end as no starters scored in the double digits.

The poor shooting can be chalked up as an anomaly. 

“It was a lot of us not being able to make the shots we normally do,” head coach Steve Minton said. “We didn’t see anything from them that was uncharacteristic.” 

The Knights’ poor shooting accompanied them the next night in their 58-65 loss to Oswego. The team shot just 40 percent from the field. Despite the loss, Geneseo did get solid results from sophomore forward Tommy Eastman, who tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds.

One of the Knights’ biggest issues this weekend was a lack of production from junior guard Quinn Carey. Carey has been playing incredible as of late, scoring 55 points in two games last weekend, but had only 12 total points against Cortland and Oswego. Both opponents made sure to guard him well. 

“I give a lot of credit to Cortland and Oswego for how they defended him,” Minton said.

Even the best players have off nights, and it is up to role players and other starters to pick up the slack when someone like Carey is not hitting the shots they normally do. Minton clarified that at the collegiate level everybody needs to be able to make plays.

The two losses brought the Knights’ regular season to an end. The team finished with an overall record of 14-11 and a conference record of 11-7. This was enough to earn the Knights the No. 4 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament.

The team opened tournament play on Tuesday Feb. 20. Their opponent was Oswego, who they have lost to twice already this season. The players felt this could have played to their advantage. 

“It’ll be tough for them to beat us a third time,” Eastman said. “We’ve spent a lot of time scouting them.”

Regardless of the men’s positivity toward their SUNYAC game against Oswego, the Knights fell to their opponent 95-84.

It can be discouraging to end the season on back-to-back losses, but just prior to that, the Knights were on a five-game winning streak. All five of those games came against conference opponents. If the team could have found that groove again, they would have made some noise in the SUNYAC Tournament. 

It has been quite a season for Geneseo, filled with incredible highs and disappointing lows. They looked to harness their play from those high points and make a run at a conference title. Although this did not prove to be successful, the men learned to utilize positivity from past experiences to propel further into the playoffs. 

The Knights will begin next season with a fresh start as they welcome a new freshman class to the roster.