First place on the line tonight as Devils host Knights

First place is on the line in SUNYAC women’s basketball tonight when the Geneseo Knights visit Steele Hall for a showdown between undefeated conference teams.

Fredonia enters the game at 6-0 in conference play, and 11-1 overall, while the Knights stand at 5-0 and 11-0. Geneseo’s hot start this year has them receiving votes in the latest National poll.

Last season, Geneseo finished second and the Devils third during the regular season. Fredonia’s season was highlighted by a sweep of the league champion New Paltz, however, Geneseo got the better end of both matchups with the Devils.

“We are trying to keep it business as usual, not trying to inflate the (importance) of the game too much,” said Fredonia coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. “It’s a regular-season game. We will focus on what we do well.”

The Devils will be led with a balanced attack. Senior Alexis Cheatham, the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers (208), which also ranks No. 3 among active players in Division III, has won two conference Player of the Week Awards this year.

Teammate Jenna Einink, a sophomore from Chautauqua Lake, has the third award for the team. With Cheatham at the point, and Einink underneath, they have formed a formidable 1-2 punch.

Cheatham is fourth in the conference with 15.2 points per game, while ranking first in three pointers per game (3.2) and assists (4.2).

Einink, a sophomore, is the leading scorer at 16.7 ppg and fourth in rebounding (8.2 per game) and blocked shots (18).

Three other seniors round out the starting lineup for Fredonia.

Jacque Law adds a scoring punch, with 10.7 ppg. She scored a season-high 19 points twice in the last three games. Law also ranks fifth in the SUNYAC with 24 steals. The other two starters — Jamie Curry and Kathryn Halloran — have both grabbed 5.8 boards per contest this season.

“The seniors have a determination about them this year,” said Hill-MacDonald when asked about her veteran players.

Sophomore Sarah Sweazy is the top-scoring reserve, at 7.8 points per game. Senior Khee Nance (5.8 ppg) and junior Alisha Szumigala (5.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game) and to the depth.  Nance hails from Dunkirk, while Szumigala is a Forestville product.

Geneseo also brings a veteran presence with all five starters listed as seniors. Their offense is led by Kate Durand’s 11.5 ppg. Bridgit Ryan (10.4) is the only other in double digits.

Fredonia enters the game as the top scoring offense (76.4 ppg) and top rebounding squad ( 49.4 rpg) in the SUNYAC. Geneseo is second in scoring (66.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (44.5 rpg). Fredonia has made 72 threes compared to 71 by the Knights.

Gametime is set for 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the women’s game, the men’s will tip off at 5:30 p.m.

The men are beginning to get on a roll as well. They are coming off a wins over Potsdam and Plattsburgh, last year’s regular-season SUNYAC Champions, this past weekend. They are 3-3 in the SUNYAC.

Overall the Devils stand at 6-7, but they’ve had a rugged schedule having already played five games against teams that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Junior Ian Helps is 48 points shy of joining the 1,000 Point Club.