Big First-Half Run Sinks Cortland Men at Geneseo, 64-49

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GENESEO, N.Y. – Zack Panebianco scored 29 points, including seven during an 18-0 first-half Geneseo run, as the Knights defeated visiting Cortland, 64-49.

Despite the loss, Cortland (16-8, 10-7 SUNYAC) is guaranteed a spot in next week's six-team SUNYAC playoffs. Cortland plays at Brockport Saturday at 4 p.m. to close the regular season. With a win, the Red Dragons will be the third seed. With a loss, Cortland will be either the fourth, fifth or sixth seed depending on outcomes of other league games. The third and fourth seeds host first-round games Tuesday.

Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) finished with 11 points and six rebounds and William Lee Moore (Rochester/Greece Olympia) tied his career high with 10 points and also grabbed six boards for Cortland in the loss. Brendan Fitzpatrick (Plainview/Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK) added eight points and five rebounds and Ryan Schmadel (Oriskany) tallied seven points and shared the team lead with six rebounds.

Panebianco hit 11-of-15 field goals overall and 4-of-5 attempts from the 3-point arc for Geneseo (8-16, 5-12 SUNYAC). Terence Rogers scored 12 points and hauled in seven rebounds and Alex Merhige led the Knights with nine rebounds and three steals. Jack Manke handed out a game-high four assists.

Cortland led 15-14 on a Moore 3-pointer 8:30 into the contest and was down only 19-18 after a Ben Walters (Lockport/Starpoint) trey with 8:41 left in the half. Geneseo scored the next 18 points, featuring seven straight by Panebianco to push the lead from eight to 15 and capped by a Rogers layup at the 1:33 mark that gave the hosts a 37-18 advantage.

Geneseo led by 19 at halftime and by 21 early in the second half. Cortland went on an 8-0 streak to close within 12 at 41-29 with 15:04 left, and the Red Dragons were down 13 at 57-44 after a Schmadel 3-pointer with 6:16 remaining. The Knights, however, outscored Cortland 7-5 the rest of the way.

Geneseo shot 47 percent from the field overall and 44 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point distance. Cortland was held to 31 percent shooting overall and 26 percent (9-of-35) from the arc.