February 26, 2011
Geneseo women dethrone defending champs —
Red Dragons stopped in semis
GENESEO — SUNY Cortland women had to be at their offensive best, and that was not the case in Friday night’s conference basketball playoff semifinal game.
Top-seeded Final Four host Geneseo secured a 14-point half-time lead and withstood a second half Cortland comeback bid before breezing into the SUNY Athletic Conference tournament title game with a 69-55 victory over the fourth-seeded Red Dragons.
Defending champion Cortland shot just 28 percent from the floor and was out-rebounded by a 46-31 margin as a 19-7 season come to an close.
Geneseo (24-3) will now face second-seed Oneonta (21-6) in today’s 4 p.m. championship contest back at Schrader Gymnasium. Oneonta was a 71-66 semifinal winner over New Paltz to get this semifinal twinbill underway.
Senior forward Khadija Campbell scored 21 points and sophomore guard Melissa Graham finished with 18 to lead a group of four Geneseo double-digit scorers as the Knights defeated Cortland for the third time this season. Campbell made 8-of-12 shots and also grabbed nine rebounds. Graham finished 8-of-14 from the field and added six rebounds and three assists.
Senior center Alyssa Polosky added 14 points and six rebounds for the winners, while Brittany Finkle tossed in 10 points to go along with team-highs of 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Junior forward Micki Volpini topped Cortland with 15 points and junior point guard Brittany Cohen added 11 points and four assists. Senior Jennifer Patten pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists in the finale of her four-year Cortland career.
Campbell scored 15 points and Graham tallied 10 points in the first half as Geneseo grabbed a 38-24 half-time lead. The Knights shot 50 percent over those opening 20 minutes, compared to just the Red Dragons’ wayward 28 percent (8-of-29) shooting touch.
Cortland scored the first five points of the second half to cut its deficit to nine and eventually got as close as seven at 44-37 on a Patten free throw with 11:26 remaining. However, a Polosky 3-pointer and a Campbell lay-up pushed the Geneseo lead back to 12.
The Red Dragons got back to within nine on a Volpini trey with 10:34 left, but Geneseo scored 12 of the next 14 points to take its largest lead at 61-42 with 6:36 remaining. Cortland moved back within 11 points with 1:21 on the clock but got no closer.
The Red Dragons did not struggle from the free throw line, going 18-for-22, but could not overcome their other offensive woes.
Oneonta 71, New Paltz 66: Oneonta is back in the finals for the first time since 2004, making 32-of-44 free throws to top New Paltz.
The Red Dragons had five players in double figures led by freshman Kristin Pappalardo’s 16 points. Guard Rebecca Bucci finished with 14 points, Samantha Szkotak 13, Madison Slagle 11 and Erika Puffer 10.
Maliqua Fisher had 11 points and Shanay Bradley 10 for New Paltz (16-11).
Upset for Brockport Men
OSWEGO — With Kyheem Green scoring 22 points, including a lay-up with less than two minutes to play to put his side by by three points, as Brockport knocked off top-seed Oswego 74-70 in the SUNYAC men’s semifinals last night.
Fourth-seed Brockport (15-12) will face second-seed Buffalo State (20-6) in today’s 4 p.m. title game on Oswego’s home court. Buffalo State — quarterfinal round winners over Cortland — beat Plattssburgh 87-79 in the other semifinal played Friday.
Former Tompkins Cortland Community College guard Chris Cartwright out of Binghamton and Justin Mitchell each scored 20 points as the Bengals won their 10th straight game.
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