By Monica D’Ippolito
NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz bounced back with a convincing 84-61 win over visiting Geneseo Saturday in the Hawk Center.
The Hawks (16-5 overall, 10-4 SUNYAC) had lost their last two, including a disappointing defeat Friday night against SUNY Brockport. However, the team rebounded Saturday afternoon in their last home regular season game of the season and earned a SUNYAC series sweep of the Knights.
“Definitely feels good to bounce back from yesterday, just keeping the mindset moving forward game by game, just focusing in on the next game and trying to not to look at the past and focus on the future on what’s in front of us,” said SUNY New Paltz senior guard Rylan Blondo.
The Knights held a six-point lead with more than nine minutes to go in the first half, but the Hawks ended the half on a 19-5 run with Kobe Bogart securing an 11-point advantage entering the second following a make at the rim in the final minute before the break.
SUNY New Paltz allowed the run to end the half determine the momentum in the final 20 minutes, as it flexed its lead to as much as 23 in the following period. A.J. Knight helped establish the 20-point difference as he drained a mid-ranged jumper to fatten the cushion to 70-47 with just more than six minutes to go.
The Hawks kept Geneseo at an arm’s length the rest of the way with Alex Krupinski scoring the final points of the game on a made bucket from the arc to solidify a 23-point victory to secure SUNY New Paltz its 16th win of the year.
SUNY New Paltz played 12 players, and all contributed with at least three points on the night with four finishing in double-figure points in an efficient shooting night, as the team made more than 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.
Blondo led his team with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting with two assists, two steals and a a rebound. Tyreik Frazier and Knight followed with 13 points apiece. Frazirer added a team-high nine rebounds, while Knight totaled two rebounds, three assists and a steal. Bogart finished with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
“Definitely feels good to see all the guys out there,” Blondo said. “Reik was a welcome back. He was out for a couple games. Alex, Jack… just the guys getting momentum and just getting a touch and confidence going through the last stretch of our four games and close to playoffs. Just having the feeling that everyone has confidence going into the playoffs is really important, and it feels good to see everyone smiling, happy and playing in front of their family and friends.”