GENESEO, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo women's basketball team will host the semifinals and championship of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament this Friday-Saturday (Feb. 23-24). Second-seeded Oneonta will battle sixth seed Buffalo State at 5:30 p.m. in Friday's first semifinal before the top-seeded Knights take on fourth seed New Paltz at 7:30 p.m. The championship game is slated for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
Geneseo earned the top seed for the second-straight year after finishing the conference regular season unbeaten for the second time in a row. Making their 27th-straight postseason appearance, the Knights carry an eight-game winning streak into Friday's game. Geneseo faces New Paltz in a rematch of last season's championship game. The Knights swept the season series against the Hawks, completing an 18-point fourth quarter comeback to earn a 58-56 road victory (Dec. 2), and defeated visiting New Paltz, 61-53 (Feb. 9). Junior forward McKenna Brooks ranks eighth in the SUNYAC with 12.0 points per game, sits sixth with 7.8 rebounds per game and leads the league with 2.4 steals per game. First-year guard Lindsay Halpin has averaged 12.4 points per game during the Knights' current win streak, including a career-high 21 points in a win over visiting Oneonta, 75-58 (Feb. 10). Geneseo is seeking its sixth-consecutive SUNYAC finals appearance and third conference championship since 2011.
ABOUT THE HAWKS
Two-time defending SUNYAC Champion New Paltz finished the regular season as the fourth seed and earned its fourth-straight trip to the SUNYAC semifinals with a quarterfinal home victory over fifth-seeded Brockport, 68-56, on Tuesday. The Hawks will face the Knights in the postseason for the third-straight year, having bested Geneseo in the last two conference championship games. Junior guard Lindsay Bettke scored 18 points in last year's title game on her way to Tournament MVP honors, and enters this year's semifinals ranked fifth in the league with 12.7 points per game. Junior guard Rachel Simon ranks second in the SUNYAC with a team-high 14.5 points per game and leads the conference with an 84.7 free-throw percentage. The Hawks are looking for their fourth championship in program history and seek to become the first team to win three-straight SUNYAC crown since Buffalo State won five from 1984-88.
ABOUT THE RED DRAGONS
Oneonta won seven of its final eight games to clinch the second seed and a first-round bye in the SUNYAC Tournament. The Red Dragons are seeking their fourth SUNYAC Championship and first since 2012 while making their 25th-consecutive postseason appearance. Sophomore forward Leanne Corso leads the team with 10.3 points per game, including a season-high 18 points in an 82-48 victory over host Potsdam in the regular-season finale, while junior forward Madeline Frank averages 9.0 points per game. Oneonta boasts the conference's second-ranked scoring defense, holding opponents to 53.2 points per game, and ranks first in the conference in opponent field goal percentage (33.7). The Red Dragons are 3-3 against the Bengals in six postseason meetings, most recently a 50-41 victory in the 2012 title game.
ABOUT THE BENGALS
Sixth-seeded Buffalo State upset third-seeded Cortland, 54-51, in Tuesday's quarterfinals for its first SUNYAC Tournament win since advancing to the 2012 championship game. First-year guard Katie Villarini scored a team-high 16 points, including a 9-for-10 performance from the foul line, while sophomore forward Liv LeBaron netted 12 points to clinch the Bengals' fifth-consecutive win. LeBaron ranks fourth in the conference with 13.4 points per game and has scored as least 15 points in four of the team's last five games. The Bengals split the season series with the Red Dragons, earning a 56-51 win on the road (Jan. 20), before falling at home, 61-42 (Feb. 3). The Bengals have won a conference-record nine SUNYAC titles, including five-straight from 1984-88.