GENESEO – SUNY Geneseo senior forward Shannon McGinnis scored a total of 20 points and 14 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season to lead the Knights to a 69-54 win over Muhlenberg in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament, Saturday night.
Junior guard Dana Cohan recorded 18 points while junior forward Allison McKenna had 10 points and six rebounds and sophomore guard Kara Houppert also added 10 points.
Geneseo (25-4) will face FDU-Florham (N.J.) in the Sweet 16 next Friday (March 13) at Tufts (Mass.) at 5 p.m. FDU-Florham advanced after earning a 91-75 second-round win over the University of New England. The Knights last appearance in the Sweet 16 saw the team defeat Wheaton (Ma.), 69-66, (3/10/95) before falling to Salem State in the Elite Eight, 76-65.
“I was very happy at the way the team handled some of the runs they faced tonight. With the pressure of the moment they could have collapsed but they dug deep and found a way to win,” said head coach Scott Hemer. “I’m very excited for this group. They continue to achieve – breaking our home win-streak last night and tonight becoming the first SUNYAC team to advance to the Sweet 16 since 2001. They’re such a resilient group and they keep finding ways to advance.”
Tied at five at the 17:26 mark, Geneseo went on a 13-0 run to take an 18-5 lead with 13:50 on the clock. The run was capped by two McGinnis free-throws while Cohan and sophomore guard Katie Durand each made a shot from long range during the spurt.
The Mules (21-8) responded by going on an 11-0 run to cut their deficit to two, 18-16, at 9:53. With 4:38 remaining in the half, Muhlenberg senior forward Leanna Tallamy made two free-throws to give the visitors its first lead, 22-21, since the score was 5-4. Tallamy finished with a team-high 17 points.
At 3:00, the Knights fell behind by as many as four, 27-23, but back-to-back threes by Houppert and Ryan, respectively, gave the hosts a 29-27 edge with 2:24 on the clock. Houppert hit another three-pointer in the final seconds of the half to put Geneseo up, 35-31, at the break.
After the Knights scored five-straight points to open the second half, Mules senior guard Nicole Pepe made a shot from beyond the arc to make it 40-34 at 18:15.
Ahead 46-38 with 13:03 on the clock, Geneseo went on a 10-0 run to open up an 18-point lead, 56-38, with 8:02 remaining in the game. The run was capped by a three-pointer from McGinnis. Muhlenberg responded with a 12-0 spurt to cut the Knights’ lead to six, 56-50, at the 3:45 mark.
Four-straight free-throws and a Cohan three-pointer made it 63-50 with just over two minutes to play. The Mules only tacked on four more points as Geneseo hit six of six free-throws in the final 56 seconds to extend its program-record 18-game home winning streak.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/SUNY Geneseo)
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