Bears edged by Bengals in men's basketball
POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team put in a thorough effort Friday but was outlasted 83-81 against Buffalo State in a State University of New York Athletic Conference showdown at Maxcy Hall’s Welsh Gymnasium.
The Bears shot 50.9 percent from the field, over five percentage points better than the Bengals, and made 19-of-24 from the free throw line, but committed 21 turnovers, including 12 in the opening half.“We played and competed hard, and did a good job rebounding overall,” Potsdam coach Sherry Dobbs said. “We gave up a few too many offensive rebounds and are still turning the ball over a little too much. We lost, but our effort was great … our guys played their butts off.”
In a game with 15 lead changes and 10 ties, each team struggled to gain momentum in a fast-paced, physical battle, until Buffalo State (9-4 overall, 4-3 SUNYAC) took control over the final 10 minutes. The Bengals turned a three-point lead into a 79-71 advantage with 2:41 to play thanks to a 3-pointer, a steal and a layup over a 10-second span.
Potsdam (4-10, 3-4) cut the deficit to 83-81 after a 3-pointer by freshman Tony Efese (Spring Valley, N.Y.) with 1.6 seconds to play, but was unable to foul before the final buzzer sounded.
“Buffalo State did a good job of dribble penetrating through our zone,” Dobbs said. “We need to defend ball screens better when we play our zone.”
In the first half, the Bengals shot 51.6 percent to take a 40-37 lead into the half. Sophomore Curtis Pierce (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 16 of his 23 points in the opening frame to help the Bears stay in the game.
Senior Anthony Williams (Long Island, N.Y.) posted a game-high 25 points, including 21 in the second half, to go along with a team-best nine rebounds and three steals. Efese and senior Eddie Cross (Hudson, N.Y.) added 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
“Curtis and Anthony gave us great energy … they both compete and are leaders who keep our guys composed and playing hard,” Dobbs said. “Anthony really gave us a spark in the second half after sitting out most of the first in foul trouble.”
The two teams combined for 47 personal fouls and 56 free throw attempts.
Potsdam hits the floor again tomorrow against Fredonia. Game time at Welsh Gymnasium is scheduled for 4 p.m