The SUNY New Paltz men’s basketball team has been in a bit of a slump recently. After losing three games in a row, the team hoped they’d be able to get some (much-needed) momentum for their Green Out Game. On Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., the SUNY Geneseo Knights took on the Hawks at home. Unfortunately, the Hawks fell to the Knights for the second time this season, 72-57.
The first half of the game seemed promising. To the surprise of no one, fourth-year forward Tristian Wissemann got it started for the Hawks 39 seconds into the match with a 3-pointer. In the 2018-19 season, Wissemann led the team in points scored with 373.
At first the Hawks held the lead over the Knights. A jumper from third-year guard Jake Passaretti and layup from fourth-year center Nick Arthur brought the score to 9-4. However, Geneseo slowly began to close the gap. At 9:29, a 3-pointer from the Knights gave Geneseo a 13-11 lead.
New Paltz didn’t fall far behind, though. First-year guard RJ Meyers-Turner scored a free throw and a jumper, along with a jumper in the paint from fourth-year forward/center Matt English. At 4:45, English netted a free throw to tie the game at 19. From there, Wissemann and Passaretti took over for the Hawks until the end of the half: Wissemann with two 3-pointers and Passaretti with a jumper and a 3-pointer of his own. Going into the second half, the Hawks held a tight lead of 30-28.
Just over a minute and 30 seconds into the last half, the score was tied again at 30. Luckily, a foul from Geneseo allowed Hawks’ fourth-year forward Scott Reisert to earn two good free throws and get the lead back. Unfortunately, with around 10 minutes left, Geneseo began to run away with the game. At 7:17 the Knights were 15 points over the Hawks. New Paltz couldn’t seem to get their footing and despite a jumper from Meyers-Turner to end the game, Geneseo won 72-57.
The next day at 4 p.m., SUNY Brockport arrived to challenge New Paltz in a matchup between the birds of prey. Although New Paltz wanted to put the past behind them, the Golden Eagles turned out to be fierce competitors and defeated the Hawks 81-59.
Some highlights of the first half were free throws, as the Hawks earned six points off of Eagle fouls. With that being said, Brockport was ahead 20 points, 45-25, to end the half.
Meyers-Turner had an excellent second half. With six jumpers to his name and three points scored on free throws, Meyers-Turner earned 15 points alone. In total, he led the team in points earned with 21, Reisert behind him with 10.
Second-year guard Jackson Vertucci scored the last point in the game, a free throw with 26 seconds left, but Brockport took the match 81-59.
New Paltz’s struggles continued last weekend, but that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t have given them love this Valentine’s Day.
The Hawks finish off their season on the road this weekend, playing the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 and the SUNY Potsdam Bears at 4 p.m. on Feb. 22. Sadly, the schedule doesn’t show a date for the NCAA championships, concluding the Hawks did not place in the championship rankings.