Estramonte buries Oswego at the buzzer, 68-66


POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball (4-17, 2-12 SUNYAC) capped a perfect 3-0 night for all Bears teams with the most dramatic victory of them all. Sophomore guard Joe Estramonte (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) hit a long 3-pointer as time expired to down Oswego State (14-8, 8-7 SUNYAC) 68-66. The bucket gave him six threes in the contest and a game and career-high 20 points. Junior captain Zach Adams (Potsdam, N.Y./Potsdam) finished with 18 points, while seniors Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y./Peru) and Colin Peterson (Hilton, N.Y./Hilton) each contributed 10 points.

The Lakers built an early lead, but Estramonte's first three of the contest gave Potsdam its first advantage of the night at 7-5. Oswego didn't regain the lead for nearly 10 minutes. A jumper by Adams at 12:34 put the Bears up 17-11 for their biggest lead of the game. Junior forward Rashawn Powell (Endicott, N.Y./Johnson City) hit a jumper at 7:42 to give the Lakers their last lead of the half at 24-22. Peterson made a layup four minutes later make it a 32-27 Potsdam lead, but Oswego finished the half on an 8-3 stretch and the score was tied at 35-35 after 20 minutes. Adams had 14 points at the break.

"Zac did a really good job in the first half of making plays and picking up the scoring load for us with Rob and Tom in foul trouble," said Potsdam Head Coach Sherry Dobbs, Jr.

The second half was as close as the first, with the Bears leading by as many as six and the Lakers up by seven and the majority of the game in between. Peterson buried a three to open the final period and Duquette made a layup to make it 40-35 with 19:11 left. Potsdam led until 7:54 when freshman guard Keith Tyson (Syracuse, N.Y./Henniger) knocked down a layup to make it a 55-53 Laker advantage. Another Tyson basket gave the Oswego its largest advantage of the game at 64-57 with 4:31 left. Estramonte answered with a three. With the score 66-60 Lakers, junior guard Tom Graf (Elbridge, N.Y./Jordan-Elbridge) drained a three to make it a one possession ballgame. With 41 seconds remaining, Peterson stole the ball and the Bears used their final timeout. Down to 10 ticks left, Peterson found Duquette under the basket and the captain hit a layup and was fouled for a chance to tie the game.

"We threw the ball into Colin and he made a really nice pass to Rob," Dobbs said. "The guys executed really well at the end of the game. I thought we did a good job of getting the shot we wanted at that point and got Rob to the line. His shot didn't go in, but we were able to execute our fouls and get enough time for Joe to make that play. It was a real good job of executing by our guys when we needed to."

After Duquette missed his free throw, Potsdam fouled twice quickly and Oswego senior guard Daniel Ross (Syracuse, N.Y./Virginia Intermont) went to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. He missed the front end and Peterson grabbed the rebound. He got the ball to Estramonte who took it across half court. As the time ticked away, the Lakers charged out to greet Estramonte. He fired the ball up in front of the Bears bench and it never touched the rim.

"We have a play that we run if they would have made the free throw, but on a miss like that we just try to push the ball up the floor and our big guys to set a screen on the ball," added Dobbs. "I don't know if we even got that. I think Joe just came down and everyone came toward him. He just made a play."

With so many stand out performances, Dobbs was particularly impressed with the play of Peterson.

"Colin had a great game for us," said Dobbs. "He had some really big rebounds at the end of the game to keep some plays alive. I thought he had a really good game on both ends of the floor."

It was the overall effort that pleased Dobbs more than anything.

"The best part to me, being down by six, we just kept battling," Dobbs said. "It's just a testament to those guys. They just kept playing hard and competing the whole time and wanting to win for each other. I'm very proud of them and that effort that they gave."

Oswego shot nearly 55 percent from the floor, but the Lakers were just 5-17 from the line. Ross had a team-high 13 points. Sophomore center Mark Candelario (New York, N.Y./Ellenville) had 12 points, while freshman center Jamel Moseley (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius) chipped in 10 and seven boards. Powell finished the night with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Potsdam, now 4-4 at Maxcy Hall, hosts SUNY Cortland at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.