GENESEO, N.Y. - The No. 1 Knights will take on the No. 2 Red Dragons as both teams head to the championship matchup Saturday afternoon after winning tonight in the SUNYAC semifinals at Geneseo. Oneonta kicked off the night by taking down No. 6 Buffalo State, 77-66. Geneseo continued the night by holding off the No. 4 New Paltz Hawks, 63-57 in an exciting rematch of the 2017 SUNYAC finals.
The Bengals started out strong against Oneonta giving them a run for their money, and led the Red Dragons 15-13 after the first quarter. Oneonta did not let up though, fighting their way to take a 32-30 lead at the half. After some back-and-forth between the two teams to start off the third, Oneonta was able to break away on a 21-7 run started by sophomore Alexa Amalbert, who led the Red Dragons in scoring with 25 points , a collegiate-best for her, shooting an efficient .474 from the field. Oneonta's defense was able to lock down the rest of the game cruising to a victory over the Bengals while holding them to only one three-pointer (.200 3FG%) made the whole game compared to Oneonta's nine (.346 3FG%), which turned out to be a difference maker. This will be Oneonta's first trip to the SUNYAC Finals since 2012, when they defeated Buffalo State to win the title.
The Knights were hungry for revenge after last year's defeat to New Paltz in the SUNYAC Finals, and it showed, as Geneseo never trailed once in this matchup. a strong first quarter put Geneseo up 20-10. With fire in their hearts, the Hawks clawed their way back after trailing 51-39 at the end of the third to only trail by four points in the final period with 1:01 remaining after nailing back-to-back three pointers. Alas, the late push was not enough, as the Knights were able to hold down the fort with Freshman Lindsay Haplin knocking in a couple of free throws. Haplin led the way for Geneseo scoring 17 points while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists.
The SUNYAC Championship game will take place on Geneso Campus at the Myrtle A. Merritt Athletic Center 4PM Saturday, Feb. 24th. The Red Dragons and Knights have met two previous times in the conference championship game splitting the two contests. In 1998, Oneonta defeated Geneseo 69-60 to win its first title. In 2011, the Red Dragons lost to the Knights 55-48.