WILMINGTON, Ohio - SUNY Geneseo senior forward Shannon McGinnis scored 18 points to lead the Knights to a 64-52 victory over No. 7 Whitman in a first-round game of the Damon's/Hampton Inn Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Wilmington (Ohio) College, Friday.
The Knights (1-0) will face the host Quakers in the championship game of the tournament on Sunday at 3 p.m.
"We were confident going into the game that if we really played hard and competed we would be able to play with them and give ourselves a chance in the end and that's what we did," said head coach Scott Hemer. "There were times we didn't commit to rebounding as much as we needed to but outside of that we really stepped up in other aspects of the game to come away with the win. We had great leadership across the board tonight. Everyone stepped up in their role and those who came off the bench gave us strong minutes."
Geneseo opened a 20-15 lead on a jumper by junior guard Dana Cohan with 6:44 to play in the first half, but Whitman bounced back with a 5-0 run to tie the score with 5:20 on the clock. Cohan finished the night with 17 points, including 9-of-10 free-throws.
Junior forward Allison McKenna hit a pair of free throws with :01 on the first half clock to stake the Knights to a 28-27 lead at halftime.
Geneseo trailed, 41-36, with 11:37 on the second-half clock, but a Cohan three-pointer capped a 9-0 run to give the Knights a 45-41 lead with 9:46 left in regulation they wouldn't relinquish.
Tied, 47-47, with 6:31 to play, back-to-back McGinnis jumpers, including a three-pointer, and a pair of Cohen free throws capped a decisive 7-0 spurt that put Geneseo up, 54-47, with 2:42 on the clock.
McKenna finished the night with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Geneseo.
Geneseo made 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch, including 7-out-of-8 by Cohan, to seal the victory.