The men’s basketball team will look to end their season strong and bounce back from a pair of losses this past weekend. On Friday and Saturday, the Hawks lost 67-81 and 67-97 to SUNY Geneseo and The College at Brockport, respectively, bringing their conference record to 4-12 and 7-16 overall.
“We didn’t execute our game plan versus Geneseo and they took advantage of that. We did not shoot well in the first half and dug too deep a hole to climb out of,” said Hawks head coach Keith Kenney. “With Brockport we struggled to match their intensity, size and athleticism; we got outplayed in every facet of the game and did not come out and fight as a team, only a couple guys.”
On Friday against Geneseo, the Hawks fell into a 22-point deficit midway through the first half. They were able to cut the Knights’ lead to 11, led by 16 first-half points from fourth-year guard Dylan Balducci, and continued the momentum into the start of the second half.
Balducci and second-year guard Tristan Wissemann combined for the first ten points of the second half to bring the score within five. Geneseo called a timeout and answered back with a six-point run to push the lead back up to 11.
“We made a big first half comeback that completely turned their momentum around,” Balducci said. “We were able to cut into their lead by moving the ball on offense and getting out in transition; we can build upon that stretch and continue to do that for a full 40 minutes.”
Third-year guard Quinn Carey led the Knights with 31 points and second-year guard Tommy Eastman had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Geneseo shot 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc while New Paltz would finish with a field percentage of 37 and 35 percent from three-point range.
“I’m not satisfied with how I played this past weekend,” Wissemann said. “Since we lost two games back to back, myself and the entire team has to come back hungry and ready to play against Potsdam and Plattsburgh.”
Balducci and Wissemann finished with 24 and 20 points for the Hawks, respectively.
“At this point in the season, my goal is to leave it all out on the court and play my hardest for the last few games I have left in a Hawks uniform,” Balducci said.
The following day the Hawks fell to Brockport after another tough shooting day, scoring only 26 points in the first half, and entering the second half down by 22. Brockport led by as much as 31 points throughout the contest, delivering New Paltz their 10th loss on the road for the season.
Wissemann led the charge with 14 points and three assists, Balducci followed with 11 points and two assists and fourth-year forward Brandon Guest tossed in 10 points and one assist.
“The team’s goals for the last two games are to finish the season on a high note and get some payback on Potsdam,” Balducci said. “They beat us on our senior night in a very tight game and we’re looking to return the favor on Friday.”
The Hawks will close out their season on the road at Potsdam on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Plattsburgh on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
“Our goal is to win every time we step on the floor,” Kenney said. “We need to prepare well and execute our game plan and I am confident we will.”