Sophomore Katie Stuart (Tupper Lake, N.Y./Tupper Lake) recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the Keuka College women's basketball team suffered a 42-38 loss to SUNY Polytechnic (formerly SUNYIT) Friday evening in Marcy, N.Y.
Senior Brittany Hadley (Jasper, N.Y./Jasper-Troupsburg) added 11 points, and junior Mackenzie Cole (Ogdensburg, N.Y./Ogdensburg Free Academy) finished with six points and five rebounds for Keuka (8-14, 7-10 NEAC).
The Green and Gold lost despite holding the Wildcats (17-7, 15-2) to 22.6 percent shooting from the floor (12 of 53). With the win, SUNY Poly clinched the NEAC North championship and will host the conference tournament Final Four Feb. 28 through March 1.
The top three teams from each division, along with the fourth-place squad that wins the crossover contest, advance into the NEAC postseason tournament, Feb. 28-March 1.
The Green and Gold are currently in fifth place NEAC North Division, one game behind third-place Wells College (9-13, 8-9 NEAC) and half a game behind fourth-place Cazenovia College (10-15, 8-10 NEAC).
Keuka travels to SUNY Cobleskill (1-16, 2-20) for a 1 p.m. clash Saturday to close out the regular season. Cazenovia is done with league games, while Wells travels to SUNY Poly Saturday.
With one conference clash remaining, Keuka is officially eliminated from consideration for the NEAC postseason tournament.
Even if Keuka beats Cobleskill and Wells loses to Poly, Keuka would be in a three-way tie with Cazenovia and Wells. Keuka does not hold the tiebreaker with either school and is officially eliminated from postseason consideration.
Against Poly, Geena Gallo (16 points, 11 rebounds) converted a three-point play for a 35-30 SUNY Poly lead with 8:29 to play.
Senior Erica Pendrak (New York Mills, N.Y./New York Mills) then hit a jumper and Stuart knocked down a jumper with 5:56 remaining to trim the deficit to 35-34.
Neither team scored for the next 3:15, until Gallo hit a pair of free throws for a 37-34 lead with 2:41 remaining.
Hadley answered with a jumper with 2:28 remaining to make it a one-point game, 37-36, but those were the last points the Green and Gold would score.
Gallo hit a pair of free throws for a 39-36 lead with 51 seconds remaining, and on the ensuing possession, Keuka's shot was blocked.
Poly's Barrie Brooks hit a pair of free throws to put Poly up 41-36 with 31 seconds left. Keuka misfired on back-to-back three-pointers, and Poly held on to clinch the regular-season championship.
Keuka trailed 24-21 at halftime. SUNY Poly jumped out to a 13-2 lead after seven minutes, but Keuka closed the half on a 19-11 run.
Stuart scored 12 first-half points to fuel the comeback. Stuart and Hadley each had a jumper and a layup, Cole hit a jumper, and sophomore Samantha Blum (Niskayuna, N.Y./Colonie) made a '3' during the run for the Green and Gold.
Stuart then converted three of four free throws to trim the deficit to 21-18 with 3:13 remaining in the opening stanza.
Tierney McGlynn made a '3' to extend the deficit to six, but Stuart countered with a triple to make the score 24-21 with 2:01 remaining. Neither team scored again in the opening half.