POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (9-15, 5-12 SUNYAC) fell to Oswego State (18-6, 11-6 SUNYAC), 76-65 late Friday evening. Senior captain Curtis Pierce led the Bears with 18 points.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm to start the first half. It took three minutes into the contest before the first basket was scored. Senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. would connect on a floating jumper to put Potsdam on the board at the 16:58 mark. Shortly after, graduate student guard Sean Michele connected on a bucket from beyond the arc to ignite the Lakers three point shooting. Oswego would hit three consecutive three point baskets to claim an 11-6 advantage with 14:03 remaining. Junior forward Rob Duquette answered with a strong layup and the free throw at the 12:05 mark to cut the lead to two points. However, the threes continued to fall for the Lakers and a bucket by senior guard Alex Mirabito extended the deficit to 11 points with 6:40 remaining. Oswego would close out the first half with eight three pointers and hold a 38-25 advantage at halftime.
Oswego used 52% shooting from beyond the arc to hold off the Bears in the final stanza. Potsdam continued to battle in the second half despite the red-hot shooting from the Lakers. Oswego would hold a 16-point lead with 12:48 remaining after a good basket by senior forward Hayden Ward. Senior guard Josh Lambert proved to be a spark for Potsdam as a pair of free throws and tough defense ignited a 10-2 run at the 12:11 mark. Sophomore forward Zac Adams would cap off the Bears charge with a layup to cut the lead to eight points with 9:27 remaining. Yet, the Lakers three point shooting started to heat up again as a three ball by Michele halted Potsdam spurt. Two more three point baskets and free throws in the remaining five minutes would give Oswego the edge and secure the 76-65 win.
Potsdam shot 41% from the field and only 27% from beyond the arc. Oswego finished shooting 46% from the floor and 52% from the three-point line. The Lakers out rebounded the Bears 36 to 32. Lake finished with 11 points. Adams added 10 points and five boards.
Ward tallied a double-double performance with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Michele totaled 16 points. Mirabito finished with 14 points and senior forward Chris Gilkes added 12.
The Bears will host SUNY Cortland tomorrow for their final game of the season at 4 p.m.