The Geneseo men’s basketball team competed in two games in the past week, both against SUNY Brockport. The Knights would split their two games with the Golden Eagles but ended up eliminated from the SUNYAC playoffs.
On Saturday Feb. 9, the Knights defeated Brockport at home by a score of 77-76 after coming back from a five-point deficit with just 25 seconds left to play. Junior guard Terrance Nichols led the charge in the final seconds of play. He scored the team’s final six points and notched the game-winning free throw with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. It was a thrilling victory over the third ranked team in the SUNYAC.
Nichols felt the team united in the win.
“[It was big] to really come together and battle when we were down nine with two minutes to go. We came out with the result we wanted, and it was really cool to be a part of,” Nichols said.
Along with his late-game heroics, Nichols also led all scorers in points with 25. It was a strong performance from the Knights leading scorer on the season.
Geneseo took on Brockport again on Tuesday Feb. 12. This matchup did not mirror the previous one. The Knights fell by a score of 88-67 on the road against the Golden Eagles. Geneseo only trailed by six at the half, but a strong showing from Brockport in the second half enabled them to open up the 21-point deficit at the final buzzer.
Nichols once again led the Knights in points with 16 in the game. Senior guard Zack Panebianco followed closely behind with 15. The team’s two top scorers were unfortunately not enough to overcome Brockport’s second half advances.
The games against Brockport pushed Geneseo’s record to 7-16 overall and 4-12 in the conference. The lone victory against the Golden Eagles was not enough to keep the Knights in the playoff race and it is no longer mathematically possible for Geneseo to establish themselves as one of the SUNYAC’s six playoff teams.
Although the postseason is now out of reach, the team still has two regular season games remaining, both at home. The first is against SUNY Cortland on Friday Feb. 15 and the second is against SUNY Oswego on Saturday Feb. 16.
Oswego sits at the top of the SUNYAC standings and Cortland is pushing for a playoff spot. Victories against these two opponents may not relieve the sting of the team missing out on the playoffs, but they could serve as a solid consolation prize in what has been an up and down season.
There will be extra incentive this weekend as Geneseo will be celebrating the careers of its three seniors. This includes Panebianco, senior forward Sean Avery and senior forward Jack Manke. These three players, along with their teammates, will look to end their season on a positive note, hopefully with a win over the top ranked team in the conference.
Despite the tough season, Geneseo has a lot to look forward to next season. The team will only lose three players and they will retain Nichols, their leading scorer. Look for Nichols along with players like junior guard Terence Rogers and freshman forward Michael Gannon to come out swinging next year.