GENESEO – For the second consecutive game, the State University of New York at New Paltz women’s basketball team played a contest that wasn’t decided until the final seconds, but it was host SUNY Geneseo that made the final plays that led to victory, downing the Hawks 61-58 on Saturday afternoon at Schrader Gymnasium.
On Friday night, sophomore guard Goldie Harrison converted the winning free throws with six seconds left against The College at Brockport. On Saturday afternoon, Harrison almost replicated her effort, connecting on a free throw with 25 seconds remaining to tie the game 58-58. Geneseo responded with an old-fashioned three-point play from junior forward Shannon McGinnis with just two ticks remaining to escape the upset-minded Hawks.
Saturday’s game ended the 2013-14 season for New Paltz, which finished 6-18, 4-13 in the SUNYAC. Geneseo improves to 18-6, 12-5. The Knights are third in SUNYAC standings and will next compete in the conference championship.
In a game that was tied eight times and fancied six lead changes, it was an 18-4 Geneseo run over the final 6:05 of the game that took the Knights from a 54-43 deficit and into a 61-58 victory.
Within the first three minutes of the second half, Geneseo, which trailed 30-26 at halftime, tied the game 32-32 on a McGinnis layup. The Hawks countered with an impressive offensive surge, getting six points from Scott and back-to-back 3-pointers from junior guards Ashley Riefenhauser and Shannan Walker to take a 46-40 lead with 8:44 to play. Five straight points from freshman forward Courtney Irby provided New Paltz with its biggest lead of the game, 54-43.
Geneseo freshman forward Katie Vienneau helped lead the surge back into contention, scoring six of Geneseo’s final 18 points, including a layup and subsequent free throw to push the Knights ahead 55-54. Sophomore guard Dana Cohan made a big 3-pointer with 48 seconds left, extending the lead to 58-54.
The Hawks still had life left, and got a huge 3-pointer from Walker with 34 seconds left to come within 58-57, setting the stage for Harrison’s free throw, and the one-upmanship from McGinnis.
New Paltz got 14 first half points from Harrison and nine from Irby to earn a 30-26 halftime lead. The Knights broke out to a 9-2 lead within the game’s first three minutes, but Harrison and Irby were a handful to contain as the Hawks stormed back.