SUNY Potsdam Bears down Algonquin College Thunder in OT, 70-62
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 6:32 am

POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to defeat Algonquin College 70-62 in a home exhibition contest on Monday night. A three-pointer from sophomore guard Tony Efese with six remaining sent the sent the game to overtime. Efese finished with 14 points and junior captain Curtis Pierce posted a double-double with a game high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

After an even start, the Thunder pulled away with a 20-10 run spanning 11 minutes. Over the final five minutes of the half, Algonquin extended their lead to 36-21. The Thunder shot 48.4 percent from the floor and held the Bears to just 28.6.

Pierce picked off the opening inbound pass in the second half and scored on an easy lay-up. The bucket sparked a 9-0 Potsdam run to cut the lead to 36-30, just 1:37 into the half. Algonquin temporarily slowed the Bears’ momentum, before another Potsdam run capped by an Efese lay-up cut the gap to 44-42. A 13-2 run by the Thunder seemed to put the game out of reach at 57-44 with just 5:34 remaining. However, the Bears picked up their play defensively and forced several key turnovers down the stretch to climb back into the contest. Trailing 61-58 with nine seconds remaining, Potsdam called its final timeout. When play resumed, junior guard Josh Lambert fed Efese who launched the deep, game-tying three. Algonquin’s Nehemiah Campbell missed a potential winning jumper in at the buzzer.

The Thunder briefly took the lead on a Romaine Lawrence free throw, but it was quickly erased with a three-pointer from Potsdam sophomore guard Greg Torchon. The Bears didn’t allow a field goal in overtime and finished the game on a 9-0 streak for the 70-62 victory.

Potsdam shot 39.4 percent for the whole game, while the Thunder were held to 36.1 shooting. Senior forward Brad Drysdale contributed 11 points for the Bears. Romaine led Algonquin with 16 points, while Derrek Mooney chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds.

At halftime, Potsdam Head Coach Sherry Dobbs stressed aggressive defense to his team and was pleased with the results.

“In the second half, we pressed a little bit and picked up our intensity, defensively,” said Dobbs. “I think our press and defensive play tired them out a bit. In the last five minutes of the half and in overtime we were really aggressive defensively and pressured the ball very well. They had a lot of shots that fell short because our defense was pretty good at that point.”

The Bears open the regular season at Utica College on Nov. 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.