GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo senior guard Kara Houppert scored a game-high 18 points, including 15 in the second half, as the Knights pulled away for a 66-47 victory over visiting New Paltz in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) opener for both teams.
Following a slow first quarter, New Paltz (3-3, 0-1 SUNYAC) looked to pull away in the second with a 10-4 spurt to take a 18-12 lead at 5:54. The Hawks took their largest lead of the game, 25-17, on a three-pointer by first-year guard Kei-Tavia Glover with 1:44 remaining in the first half, but it was Geneseo senior forward Kayleigh Cavanaugh scoring five consecutive points in the final minute to pull the Knights within three, 25-22, at halftime.
New Paltz re-built a seven-point edge, 29-22, to start the second half, but a Houppert three-pointer started an 11-0 run that put Geneseo on top, 33-29, at the 5:52 mark of the third quarter. The Hawks answered with five-unanswered points to briefly re-take a one-point edge, 34-33, at 5:04, but the Knights responded with a 12-2 run that included three-point strikes by Houppert and Cavanaugh to claim a 45-36 lead with 1:34 on the clock that they would not relinquish.
The Hawks pulled within six, 46-40, with 8:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Geneso used an 18-0 surge, including seven points by Houppert, to take a commanding 64-40 lead with 2:21 to play as the Knights went on to defeat the reigning SUNYAC Champions in a re-match of last year's conference championship game won by New Paltz, 65-52.
Cavanaugh finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, while senior guard Bridgit Ryan was credited with eight points and 11 boards. Sophomore guard Kelsey Poplawski also reached double-fgures with 12 points off the bench.
Geneseo continues SUNYAc player on Saturday (Dec. 3), hosting Oneonta for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off.