Oneonta 89 Geneso 88
The Red Dragons only led in this game one time...but it was the one time that mattered...when the final buzzer sounded.
Geneseo opened the game on an 8-0 run and the Knights went up 14-4 less than 3 minutes into the game on the strength of four 3 pointers. Justin Ringen had 3 of them and John Decker had the other one. Oneonta used a flurry of threeballs to cut into that deficit as Dwayne Freeman, Mikey McElroy, and Jack Kolosky all hit from downtown. The Knights were on top 19-15 after 5 minutes of play. Kevin Crockett got into the act for Geneseo as he nailed a 3 pointer, got fouled on a 3 point attempt and swished 3 from the stripe,and then made another shot from long range. Once more the Knights had a sizable lead at 30-18 and increased their margin to as many as 16 points before settling for an 11 point 48-37 halftime edge.
Oneonta tried to cut into the double digit lead but every time they got it under 10 points, the Knights would respond, usually with a 3 pointer or back to back buckets and the Red Dragons' rally would be short lived. McElroy scored to cut the lead to 7 points at 81-74 but seconds later Crockett scored and was fouled and with 5 minutes left to play the Knights were still in front by 10 points. Still down by 9 with 3:31 left, Freeman scored from downtown and Coleman scored from uptown. The gap was 4 points and the Red Dragons had made it a 2 possession game for the first time since it was 19-15, five minutes into the game.
The Knights called a timeout hoping to regroup but they failed to score on their possession. Oneonta got a layup from Kolosky but Decker was fouled at the other end and made them both to make it 88-84. McElroy got fouled, made 1 of 2 and when the Knights grabbed the rebound with 1:39 to play it didn't look good for the Red Dragons. The Knights came up empty on their possession with 1:16 to play and Oneonta's Frankie Kelly drove to the hoop and scored to make it 88-87 with 1:09 to go. The Knights took another time out and rather than run time off the clock, went for an early score. Decker missed a layup attempt, but got the rebound and Geneseo called another timeout with 45 ticks on the clock. The Knights, looking to inbound the ball when play resumed, were forced to take another time out to avoid a 5 second call. Geneseo wound the clock down but found themselves facing a shot clock violation and the resulting 3 point attempt by Decker was not a good shot and was off the mark. Mikey McElroy secured the biggest rebound of the night and the Red Dragons called a time out with 12 seconds to play.
I've seen this act before, and knew what was coming, as Frankie Kelly inbounded the ball after the time out. He got the return pass, dribbled upcourt and made his move to the hoop. He laid it up and the ball dropped through the net, just like it was supposed to do. There were 3 seconds left to play and Oneonta finally had their lead. The Knights rushed the ball up and let one fly just over the halfcourt line but it was off target and the Oneonta bench began the celebration.
After the game Oneonta's head coach, Cameron Conover, had this to say. "Wow! That was fun. It's about playing defense and getting stops. Our guys started playing great defense at the end of the first half. We held them without a field goal for the last 5:38 of the first half. I just told the guys at halftime that if they give that same effort for the next 20 minutes, I'll be proud of them regardless of what the scoreboard says. I also told them that if they give that effort for the whole second half, then we were going to win the game."
I'm not sure if the Coach had them winning in such dramatic fashion but he sure was right about the effort and about the team winning, if the effort was there. The rest of the SUNYAC was served notice on Saturday that the Red Dragons and their coach won't stop playing until the game is over.
The Red Dragons
Lawrence Coleman had a team high 19 points (7x8 fg, 5x8 ft) and a team high 8 rebounds.
Mikey McElroy had 18 points (6x14 fg, 2x3 3's, 4x9 ft) and 6 boards.
Jack Kolosky had a perfect night shooting the rock with 14 points (6x6 fg, 1x1 3's, 1x1 ft), with 5 rebounds, a steal and a block.
Frankie Kelly had 12 points (5x7 fg, 2x2 ft) and most importantly, the final 4 put up on the scoreboard. He also had a game high 8 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Some guy I know said he would have a big game. He must have bought a crystal ball to match mine.
Dwayne Freeman scored 8 points including a big 3 pointer that made it a 2 possession game in the heart of the Red Dragon comeback.
Freshman Harrison Deegan continues to give Oneonta valuable minutes off the bench. He had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 assist in 16 minutes of court time.
Kevin Crockett was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points (8x14 fg, 3x6 3's, 8x8 ft). He also had 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
John Decker had 24 points (7x16 fg, 4x10 3's, 6x7 ft), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.
Justin Ringen scored 14 points (5x9 fg, 4x5 3's) with 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
Jack Eisenberg had 6 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a block.
CJ Burke had 6 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and a block in 15 minutes of court time off the bench.
Overall the statistics were fairly close between the teams. Oneonta had an edge in 2 of the 3 shooting categories. The Red Dragons were 33x60 from the field (55.0%), 7x15 from long range (46.7%) and 16x24 (66.7%) from the line.
Geneseo shot 30x60 (50.0%) from the field 13x28 from downtown (46.4%) and 15x17 (88.2%) from the line.
Oneonta had the edge in rebounding 36-27 and turnovers were slightly in favor of the Knights as they had 8 miscues to 9 for Oneonta.
The Red Dragons improve to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the SUNYAC. They will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Oswego State at 5:30 PM.
Geneseo drops to 4-2 overall, 1-1 in the conference. They will travel to Rochester on Tuesday to face the Yellowjackets at 7:00 PM.