Down 29-18 at the half, the Fredonia State women's basketball team put together a strong second half to take the SUNYAC-leading Geneseo Knights into overtime.
The Knights eventually prevailed, 69-66.
The Devils outscored Geneseo 36-25 in the second stanza.
Geneseo jumped out to a 29-18 lead at the break. They outrebounded the Devils 29-10 for the half.
"They are a very good offensive team and they were nailing shots," Fredonia State coach?Donna Wise said. "We were trying to get them away from higher percentage shots and they hit the shots they needed to."
The Devils changed the pace in the second half, opening with a full-court press defensively, and taking an aggressive approach offensively. The Devils had 11 steals in the second, and made 13 trips to the free throw line, converting on 12 attempts.
OBSERVER?Photo by John Conti
Fredonia State’s Anna Riley looks for an open teammate during Tuesday’s SUNYAC?women’s basketball game.
The Devils gradually edged their way back into the game. Nicole Calbi hit a jumper to tie the game at 51-all with 2:11 to play.
"The first half is what hurt us," Wise said. "We were not doing what we needed to do. In the second half we were working together and went to an offense that gave Nicole an opportunity to create some chances. That's when she started to drop some points."
Geneseo's Melissa Graham responded with a three pointer with 1:17 left. The Devils answered right back as Caroline Hourihan nailed a deep three with :28.7 seconds to go to tie the game at 54-all.
"I think that goes back to heart and desire," Wise said of her team continuing to fight late in the game. "Looking at our record, you might think we would give up. But we aren't about that. We are proud of our progress."
Hurting the Blue Devils was Geneseo's ability to use its size and grab multiple offensive rebounds for second and third chances.
"I thought they came over our back several times, but they weren't giving us that call," Wise said. "If the officials aren't going to call it, there isn't much you can do. They are one of the bigger teams in the conference."
Geneseo got off three shots in the closing seconds, but could not convert, sending the game into overtime. The Blue Devil pressure defense limited Geneseo to 11 of 39 shooting (28.2 percent) in the second half.
Geneseo scored first and outscored the Devils 15-12 in the overtime to give the 69-66 final.
Khadija Campbell was the key to the Geneseo attack in the extra frame, scoring nine of her 14 points. Melissa Graham topped the Knights with 15 points. Dunton added 11 points.
Calbi led the Blue Devils with 18 points. Hourihan added 11. Anna Riley and Liz Wierbinski had nine apiece, while Riley had a team-high eight rebounds.
Geneseo improves to 14-2 overall, and 9-0 in the SUNYAC.
Fredonia State falls to 3-12 and 1-8. They travel to Cortland and Oswego this weekend to open the second half of conference play.