Plattsburgh State (11-5, 7-2 SUNYAC) used a second half explosion to defeat the SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (7-9, 3-6), 85-63, on Tuesday night in Jerry Welsh Gymnasium. Senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. had a game-high 17 points, but it wasn't enough as four Cardinals finished with double-digits.
The first half was every bit the tight rivalry expected from the two North Country rivals. At 15:11, Plattsburgh junior John Perez hit two free throws to tie the score at 13-13. The Bears then went on an 8-2 run capped by two free throws from senior captain Curtis Pierce to build a 21-15 advantage at the 10:42. The Cardinals rallied and a three-pointer from junior forward Kalik Parker gave them a 29-28 lead. Potsdam scored the next four and a long three from freshman Joe Estramonte put the Bears back in front 32-29. Parker answered 10 seconds later to tie the score again. Junior forward Reggie Williams scored on a layup with one second left and the Cardinals took a 39-38 lead into the break. The basket marked the contest's final lead change.
Just over four minutes into the second half, senior captain Josh Lambert hit a layup to get Potsdam to within 44-42. Plattsburgh sophomore guard followed the bucket with a three-pointer to ignite a 33-5 run. Turnovers combined with deadly Cardinal shooting allowed Plattsburgh to pull way for the victory. Plattsburgh hit five threes during the streak. After the run, the Bears recovered somewhat, but not in time to salvage the contest.
The Cardinals shot 47.1 percent from the floor, while Potsdam hit 36.7 percent of its shots. Perez finished with 16 points for Plattsburgh, while sophomore guards Jordan Moody and Shamoy McIntosh scored 13 and 12, respectively. Freshman guard Edward Correa (Bronx, N.Y./Mount St. Michael) rounded out the bunch with 11 points. Lambert and Pierce each had 10 points for the Bears.
Potsdam looks to rebound on Friday as the Bears travel to Fredonia for an 8 p.m. battle with the Blue Devils.