Derek Dimino. Staff Writer |
After side-by-side victories against Buffalo State the night before, Saturday (Feb. 4) afternoon pitted the Oneonta men’s and women’s Basketball teams against the Fredonia Blue Devils to further establish their positions in the SUNYAC Playoffs. Both of Oneonta’s teams have already clinched a berth but are still a few games back from getting a coveted first round bye.
The Oneonta Men’s team (13-8, 10-4 conf.) were dominant from the opening tip. While there were a couple of flips in momentum in the first half, the Red Dragons were able to maintain a lead. Led by the precise passing of Frankie Kelly to both the hot-handed Mikey McElroy on the perimeter and the physical Lawrence Coleman in the paint, the Red Dragons went into the half with a 48-38 lead.
Fredonia (9-13, 6-9 conf.) came into the second half on fire, closing their deficit to as little as four points with 10:00 minutes left. Thanks to the much-needed explosiveness of McElroy and the sharp shooting of Kevin Mackin the Red Dragons were able to prevail with a 89-74 victory.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Oneonta women’s basketball team (13-8, 10-4) was not able to hold off the fierce Blue Devils (13-8, 10-5) in a tight matchup.After Oneonta got off to a slow start, Alexa Amalbert kick-started the offense in the second quarter accumulating nine points and three big time steals which allowed the Red Dragons to tie up the game right before the half.
The game remained well fought throughout the third quarter with a couple of steals, fast breaks and lead changes. Fredonia Point Guard Alexis Cheatham was an imposing force, passing the ball well, while also shooting accurately from the three and inside the paint. Even with Cara Adams 12 points and .54 shooting percentage in the second half, Fredonia out-rebounded the Red Dragons enough to maintain their lead.
In the final quarter, Fredonia women’s basketball continued to pull away, holding the ball as long as possible then making in well timed shots, making it impossible for Oneonta to stage a comeback. The final score was 57-49, Fredonia.
Both the men and women’s basketball teams have four games left before the February 21 start of the SUNYAC playoffs, all of which are at home. While none of the games are must wins to make the playoffs, every one of these games are in conference, so they are imperative for higher seeding. This weekend will be a huge fight for playoff supremacy in the SUNYAC.
On Friday, February 10, both teams will take on SUNY Geneseo at the Dewar Arena in the Alumni Field House starting at 5:30 p.m. The Geneseo women’s basketball team is ranked first in SUNYAC and have yet to be beaten this season, while the men’s team is on the fringe fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
The following day on Saturday, February 11, SUNY Brockport Basketball will visit the Dewar Arena to take on the Red Dragons in another SUNYAC matchup. Brockport men’s basketball is second in the conference and an Oneonta win could propel the Red Dragons a full game up the standings. While the Brockport women’s team might not seem too threatening, they are playing for the last playoff spot available, so their passion will be at an all-time high.