GENESEO, N.Y. – Lindsay Halpin hit the go-ahead free throws with 26 seconds remaining and blocked a potential game-tying 3-pointer with less than three seconds left as Geneseo defeated Cortland, 68-65, in SUNYAC women's basketball action.
Despite the loss, Cortland (12-12, 8-9 SUNYAC) is guaranteed a spot in next week's six-team SUNYAC tournament. The Red Dragons play at Brockport Saturday at 2 p.m. to close the regular season. With a win, Cortland will lock up the fourth seed and host a first-round game Tuesday. With a loss, Cortland can still finish anywhere from fourth to sixth place depending on outcomes of other conference games. Geneseo (21-3, 14-3 SUNYAC) will be either the second or third seed in the tournament depending on Saturday's results.
Tanna Mohammed (Huntington/Elwood-John H. Glenn) led Cortland with a career-high 19 points. She tied her career high with five 3-pointers. Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) made 4-of-5 3-pointers and finished with 18 points. She has now made 200 career 3-pointers and is the second player in program history to reach the career 200-mark for treys.
Shannon McGuire (West Babylon) finished with six points, five rebounds and a career-high nine assists. Shana Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) totaled eight points and Justine Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) had six rebounds and two blocks.
McKenna Brooks and Halpin each reached the 20-point plateau for the host Knights. Brooks went 9-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the foul line and finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. Halpin was 12-for-12 from the charity stripe and ended with 20 points, six assists and five rebounds. Geneseo went 19-for-20 from the foul line compared to Cortland's 6-for-8 performance, but Cortland made 11-of-24 3-pointers while Geneseo was 5-for-12 from the arc.
The teams were tied 14-14 after one quarter, but Geneseo led 42-31 at halftime and led 46-33 with 8:47 left in the third quarter. Cortland, however, held the Knights scoreless the rest of period during a 14-0 run that put the Red Dragons up 47-46 entering the fourth. Mohammed and (Justine) Crespo each scored five points during that stretch.
The fourth quarter featured 11 lead changes and five ties. Geneseo led 65-60 on a Brooks layup with 3:52 left, but (Shana) Crespo hit a jumper and Vitucci nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score at 65 with 3:08 left.
Kelsey Poplawski hit a jumper at the 2:53 mark, but Mohammed's 3-pointer with 1:10 left gave Cortland a 63-62 lead. Halpin was fouled with just under 48 seconds remaining and made both free throws to put Geneseo back on top. Vitucci answered with two free throws about 12 seconds later to give the lead back to Cortland, but Halpin was fouled again with 26 seconds remaining and sank both foul shots to push the hosts back on top, 66-65.
Poplawski recorded a steal with 15 seconds left and Halpin again made two free throws to increase the Geneseo lead to three with seven seconds on the clock. Halpin blocked Vitucci's look at a tying 3-pointer to seal the victory.