Women's Basketball Falls Short at Ohio Northern, 72-55

NCAA TOURNAMENT PHOTO ESSAY (BY KEITH WALTERS) 

ADA, OHIO - SUNY Geneseo senior guard Katie Durand netted a team-high 15 points but the Knights' second-half comeback came up short as the squad fell at Ohio Northern, 72-55, on Friday night in the third round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament.

Sophomore guard McKenna Brooks went 6-for-6 from the floor for 13 points while senior guard Kayleigh Cavanaugh also scored 13 points and pulled a team-high five rebounds. Senior guard Kara Houppert dished out a squad-best five assists as well.   

The Knights shot 21-for-60 from the floor, but didn't record a made field goal until the second quarter. The host Polar Bears went 29-for-62 from the floor, including 19-for-31 in the first half. 

Ohio Northern took a 25-2 lead in the first quarter as the hosts made their first six attempted field goals and finished the frame shooting 10-for-15 from the floor. Geneseo's only points of the period came at the foul line as Durand netted a pair of free throws with 1:06 to go.

Senior forward Bridgit Ryan scored the Knights' first field goal, driving hard to the hoop for a layup with 9:38 to go in the second quarter. Freshman guard Sara Ciotti hit a three with 8:49, cutting the ONU lead to 20 points, but the hosts finished the half on a 19-8 run to take a 46-15 lead at the half.

In the second half, the Knights continued to battle, outscoring the Polar Bears 40-26 over the final 20 minutes. Cavanaugh and Brooks each scored seven points in the third quarter as Geneseo came to within 23 points before the final frame.

In the fourth, Cavanaugh opened the frame with back-to-back three-pointers, followed by a pair of Brooks jumpers, to send the Knights on a 10-4 run to make it 60-43 with 6:23 remaining. Later in the period, Durand netted five straight points to bring the Knights to within 13 points, 66-53, with 2:39 to play. Geneseo could not draw any closer in the final minutes as Ohio Northern held on to earn the victory.

The Knights' season comes to an end with a 28-2 record, the most single-season wins in program history.