Bears men’s basketball downed in tournament opener
The SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team surged back after falling behind early in the first half, but was unable to sustain the run in the second, falling 86-72 at King’s on Friday on the first day of the PNC/Ramada Inn Classic in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
After closing the opening half with a run to cut their deficit in half, the Bears (2-5) surrendered a 14-5 run early in the second half as the Monarchs took a commanding 56-41 lead with 12:25 to play.“King’s is very big and physical, but it came down to us not committing to play defense,” Potsdam coach Sherry Dobbs said. “It was a good, back-and-forth first half, but we couldn’t cover shooter or keep the ball out of the post in the second.”
For the contest, Potsdam shot 55 percent compared to 50 percent for King’s (4-4), but turned the ball over 19 times and was outscored 22-10 at the free throw line.
Senior Anthony Williams (Long Island, N.Y.) posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds to go along with a team-high four assists. Freshman Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y.) shot 6-of-8 from the field for 13 points, while senior Eddie Cross (Hudson, N.Y.) also finished in double figures with 10 points.
In the first half, Potsdam trailed by as many as 11 points. Down 10 with just over five minutes left in the period, the Bears closed the deficit to two points with 30 seconds on the clock by scoring on seven of their last eight possessions, including back-to-back 3s by Cross. A last-second 3-pointer allowed King’s to go into the break with a 39-34 lead.
“We executed some things offensively and got a lot of open jump shots on penetration and kick-outs,” Dobbs said. “We need to cut down on our unforced turnovers and handle the physical play, which we’ll see down the line in conference play as well.”
The Bears shot 52 percent from the field in the first, but also committed 10 turnovers in the frame.
Potsdam resumes tournament play tomorrow against 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifier Brooklyn College. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. at King’s College.