No. 16 Women's Basketball Falls in SUNYAC Finals

GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo sophomore forward McKenna Brooks finished with 15 points and nine rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team, but the top-seeded Knights fell to second-seeded New Paltz 58-57 in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Senior guard Katie Durand led the team with 16 points to also garner All-Tournament honors, while senior guard Kara Houppert netted 10 points. Senior forward Katie Vienneau pulled nine rebounds while sophomore guard Kelsey Poplawski dished out a team-high three assists. 

The Knights trailed throughout the first half, as New Paltz shot 7-for-14 from behind the arc. The Hawks limited Geneseo to 1-for-11 shooting in the first quarter as the visitors took a 17-8 lead. In the second quarter, the Knights shot 8-for-12 to score 20 points and cut into the New Paltz lead, entering the break trailing 33-29.

Geneseo took the lead for the first time with 5:09 remaining in the third quarter on a Durand lay-up, capping a 10-4 run and making it 39-37. The Hawks tied the game on the next posession, but senior forward Bridgit Ryan answered with a three-pointer to give the Knights their largest lead of the game, 42-39, with 2:49 to play in the period. New Paltz finished the frame on an 8-4 run to take a 47-46 lead into the final quarter.

The Hawks led by as many as five points in the final frame, taking a 54-49 lead on a jumper with 6:30 to go. Geneseo responded with six straight points to take a 55-54 lead with 4:24 to play, but back-to-back New Paltz buckets put the visitors ahead by three with 56 seconds to play. Durand responded with a quick jumper to bring the Knights to within one, 58-57, with 45 seconds left. Geneseo recorded a defensive stop and got the ball back with 16 seconds remaining, but the Knights final attempt went off the rim as the visiting Hawks held on to claim the SUNYAC Championship.

Geneseo will wait until Monday to find out if it will be selected to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid. The NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Selection Show will be held on Monday, Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m.