GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo junior guard Kelsey Poplawski scored 20 points as the Knights used a late rally to defeat Oneonta, 58-52, and win the 2018 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship, Saturday afternoon at Schrader Gymnasium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Geneseo opened the game 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, including two triples from Poplawski, but trailed, 18-15, after the first quarter.
- In the second quarter, the Knights outscored the Red Dragons, 14-7, including an 8-2 run to end the frame. First-year guard Lindsay Halpin finished an acrobatic layup with 1.4 seconds remaining to put Geneseo ahead, 29-25, at halftime.
- Oneonta opened the third quarter with seven-straight points to take a 32-29 lead, but Poplawski scored eight of the Knights' 16 third-quarter points as the teams entered the final quarter tied, 41-41.
- A back-and-forth final period saw Geneseo fall behind, 52-51, with 1:57 to go, but Halpin found Poplawski on a backdoor cut to the basket for the go-ahead layup with 1:01 remaining.
- Knights strung together a pair of defensive stops in the final minute of regulation while hitting 5-of-6 free-throw attempts to seal the victory.
- Geneseo earned the sixth SUNYAC Championship in program history, its first since 2015 and third in 11 years under head coach Scott Hemer.
- The Knights made their sixth-straight appearance in the SUNYAC Tournament Championship game as well as their seventh showing in the last eight years.
- Junior forward McKenna Brooks finished with 11 points and seven rebounds while Halpin added nine points and five assists.
- The Knights shot 18-for-51 (35.3%) from the floor, their fourth-lowest total of the season, but held Oneonta to 21-for-54 (38.9%) and forced 14 turnovers.
- Poplawski was named Tournament MVP and joined Brooks on the All-Tournament Team.
The Knights earned an automatic bit to their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament as the 64-team field will be announced on Monday (Feb. 26) at 2:30 p.m.