SUNY New Paltz (14-0, 8-0) shook off a slow start to down the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (1-13, 0-8), 71-55, on Saturday afternoon. Senior forward Alex McCullough and junior guard Alyssa Gratien led the Hawks with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Senior guard Katy Briedis topped Bears scorers with 14 points.
Potsdam raced out to a 7-2 lead four minutes into the contest, but New Paltz answered with an 18-6 run over the next eight minutes. McCullough hit a jumper at 8:41 to make it 20-13 Hawks. New Paltz built its lead to 14 by the break, outscoring Potsdam 17-13 down the stretch for a 37-26 halftime advantage. Bears sophomore forward Margaret Wall had a career-high 10 points in the first 20 minutes.
The second half scoring was slower, but with similar results. The Hawks slowly increased their lead to 23 over the first 10 minutes of the final period. Junior guard Pippa Mansdorf dropped in a layup at 11:30 for a 57-34 New Paltz advantage. The teams traded buckets over the next eight minutes. With 2:49 on the clock, freshman guard Goldie Harrison connected for two points to give the Hawks their largest lead of the contest at 70-46. The Bears closed the contest with a 9-1 run, including two free throws from sophomore guard Laura Coleman in her Potsdam debut.
New Paltz shot nearly 46 percent from the floor, while the Bears made 40 percent of their shots. Junior forward Jeanette Scott also reached double-digits for the Hawks with 12 points. Potsdam sophomore guard Carli Reynolds had another strong game with nine points and four rebounds.
The Bears are back in action on Tuesday night as they host SUNYAC North Country rival Plattsburgh at 6 p.m.