Women's basketball: Slow start costs Bears in conference opening loss to SUNY Cortland


Sophomore Caysea Cohen shot 8-of-14 from the field for a game-high 23 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds as host SUNY Cortland took advantage of a big first half to down the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team 69-57 to open SUNYAC conference play for both schools on Friday evening at Corey Gym.

The Bears (2-3 overall, 0-1 SUNYAC) came out with cold shooting in the first half and fell into catch-up mode after a decisive 23-5 Cortland run over an eight minute span put the Red Dragons up 36-17 with 4:39 remaining in the opening half.  The teams traded baskets for the duration and found themselves in an 18-point deficit at halftime.

Potsdam was able to inch back into the game by tightening up its defense in the second half.  The Bears held the Red Dragons (5-2 overall, 1-0 SUNYAC) to just 32 percent shooting from the floor after halftime.

Senior forward Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y. / Webster-Schroeder) led the Bears' offense back into the game with 18 points—including 3-of-5 from 3-point range—and snagged eight rebounds.

Junior swingman Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y. / Williamsville East) provided an all-around effort by notching her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.  She also dished out four assists and came up with three steals and blocked two shots.

In the early minutes of the second half, Cortland extended its lead to as many as 26 points, but the Bears continued to chip away at the lead.

Potsdam outscored Cortland 27-7 over the next 14 minutes and got as close as being down just six when a 3-pointer by junior guard Carli Reynolds (Indian Lake, N.Y. / Indian Lake) closed the gap to 60-54 with 2:39 left.  Reynolds finished with a season-high 11 points and made 3-of-7 from downtown.

But, Cortland was able to sink 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Potsdam will have a quick turnaround as the Bears will travel to Oswego State to take on the Lakers Saturday at 2 p.m. in another SUNYAC tilt.