Bears men's basketball battles but falls short at home
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:28 pm

POTSDAM, N.Y.- Matt Devine led SUNY New Paltz (8-10, 5-7 SUNYAC) to a 64-53 win Tuesday night in Maxcy Hall’s Welsh Gymnasium. The junior recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds and Harris Wichard added 16 points.

The first half was well played by both sides. The lead was never bigger than five points and it changed hands six times as both sides battled to gain momentum. Sophomore Tony Efese did his best to get the home crowd into the game with three first half dunks as he shot 6-for-8 from the field to pace the offense with 12 points. The Hawks shot 56 percent from the field in the half and were hot from long range, converting on 6-of-9 attempts from the three-point line. New Paltz scored the final four points of the half to take a slight 36-31 lead into halftime.

New Paltz used an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 53-39 with 6:44 left in the second half. An Efese layup would put an end to the run and junior Curtis Pierce would score on the ensuing possession to cut the deficit to 10 points. Brad Drysdale hit a free throw to cut further into the lead but the Hawks would respond with four straight points to extend the lead to 55-44 with just over three minutes remaining. Josh Lambert’s driving layup again cut the lead to single digits but that would be the closest the Bears would get.

For the night, Potsdam (4-15, 2-10) shot 36.7 percent from the field and forced New Paltz into 16 turnovers. Efese led the team with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting and Pierce scored 13 while grabbing six rebounds.

New Paltz ended the game with a 47.8 field goal percentage but were held to 38 percent in the second half, including only 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) from long range. Five different players scored at least seven points for New Paltz as they earned the road victory.

The Bears return to action on Friday evening when they host Fredonia at 8 p.m.