ONEONTA – Just two years ago, G-MU was grasping for a win – any sort of win. Two years removed from that 3-16 campaign, the Raiders have gone from league doormat to Tri-Valley League champion.
G-MU senior guard Tanya Barnes was her ubiquitous self finishing with a game-high 20 points to go with five assists and at least a half-dozen steals. The Raiders turned back Schenevus’ fourth-quarter rally with three free throws in the last 36 seconds improving to 15-3 overall with a 48-43 victory Saturday afternoon at Oneonta State’s Fieldhouse Gymnasium.
“I knew this group had the potential, and I firmly believed that,” said G-MU coach Jim Johnson. “I’m not surprised by the number of wins this season (150, and I’m happy with it. These kids have worked hard, and they know I won’t let them lose for something they shouldn’t be doing.”
Earlier this month, Barnes became the third girl in G-MU history to surpass 1,000 career points. Until this season, her fourth on varsity, she had never experienced anything better than a .500 record. “I always thought we could come this far,” Barnes said, who noted that teammates Brianne Lambert and Miranda Hill also played on the teams that struggled for wins.
G-MU hung on to a 20-19 lead late in the first half before finishing the second quarter on an 8-0 run. Lambert hit a baseline 15-footer after a Hill pass, and Barnes completed a three-point play after one of her steals to help move the lead to nine points at halftime.