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Men's basketball playoff berth in reach

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Wed, Feb 13th 2019 02:00 pm
Head coach Greg Dunn watches a shot during a game against New Paltz. Dunn has led the team to a 13—9 record and a chance at a possible playoff berth.
Head coach Greg Dunn watches a shot during a game against New Paltz. Dunn has led the team to a 13—9 record and a chance at a possible playoff berth.
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Another weekend of basketball, another weekend of falling in the last play. The College at Brockport men’s basketball team saw its fate repeat itself after a loss in the dying seconds of the contest. 

After breaking its streak of close matchups against New Paltz and Oneonta during the first weekend of February with a 29 point victory over Fredonia, Brockport lost to bottom tier Geneseo by a single point, taking the team’s conference record to 9—6. 

While Brockport still remains in fourth place in the SUNYAC standings following the Geneseo loss, the team missed its chance of obtaining equal points with third place Cortland, which could have been a massive feat as the date for the first round of the SUNYAC tournament approaches. 

Despite that, Brockport is close to obtaining the coveted third spot on the table. The team will have a shot at claiming it with a victory over Cortland in the final conference game of the 2019 schedule. 

But that does not take away from the fact that the team fell to Geneseo, a side which has been eliminated from playoff contention. 

“We tend to play down to easier opposition,” sophomore guard Devante Hagins said. “We came out complacent and thought we had won the game before it was over, that’s the problem.” 

The start to the contest between Brockport and Geneseo was nothing short of the expected outcome. Green and gold’s junior forward Justin Summers began the domination with a two-handed dunk and was followed up by his teammates’ nine-point run. This solidified the team’s lead and propelled it to an advantage of 36 to 29 at the end of the second quarter.

To open the second frame of the game, Geneseo crept closer and became a thorn in Brockport’s side for the rest of the contest. With its recent elimination from postseason play, Geneseo had nothing to lose and all to play for, which prompted a healthy streak of successful shots to contest Brockport’s lead. 

The team’s efforts looked like they amounted to nothing after Brockport extended its advantage to 10 points, but a last-minute run brought Geneseo back to a single digit deficit and a chance at the lead with seconds left in regulation. 

To everyone’s surprise, Geneseo pressed and a Brockport turnover resulted in a quick three points, bringing the game to a tie of 76 with 20 seconds left on the final shot clock. Brockport missed its opportunity to score, fouled and put Geneseo’s junior guard Terrance Nichols on the free-throw line for two shots. He made one of them to win the game for the Knights. 

Brockport experienced its second heartbreak in two consecutive weekends, yet while the team has success when facing tougher opposition, the room for error is getting tighter by the game. With only two more contests remaining after the second meeting with Geneseo, Brockport will look to capitalize on both in order to gain momentum heading into the SUNYAC quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 19. 

Despite the mounting pressure of tough upcoming opposition, the Golden Eagles have the opportunity to act on their recent setbacks and ultimately prepare for the race to the 2019 SUNYAC trophy.   

“Brockport is a program that wins and we aren’t going to let that change this year,” senior forward Ryan Ingarozza said. “We’ll be able to do damage in the playoffs, we just have to play for each other.” 

Doing so will not be easy as the team is scheduled to compete against the top team in the conference, Oswego. The Oswego Lakers have accumulated an impressive 13 wins while only losing two. Although Brockport’s current position in the standings might be seen as a safe spot, fifth place New Paltz and sixth place Potsdam are right behind the squad and will be keen on climbing up the ranks. 

The team will look to split the series with a victory over Oswego and ultimately rise up on the conference table. The matchup is scheduled to take place at Brockport on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.