Men's basketball: Bears follied at foul line in 81-77 loss to Oneonta
Defending one of the conference's top scorers is always a chore.
Oneonta junior guard Zach Mager posed a challenge for the Bears with his lofty 20.4 points per game average. And, he had scored 24 points against Potsdam in an earlier meeting this season.
Mager hit some 3-pointers early and then drove more to the hoop in the second half to account for 23 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line to help the Red Dragons (9-10 overall, 6-6 SUNYAC) hold on for a 81-77 win on Saturday afternoon at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium. Mager also had six rebounds.
"He [Mager] can post and can step out and shoot the ball well," coach Dobbs said. "He gets to the line well. We took the 3-ball from him after the first half and he's able to adjust and do something else."
Oneonta took a 44-37 lead at halftime after it ended the half on a 9-2 run capped by a pair of Dan Lee free throws.
Potsdam pulled to within two on an 8-1 run after Tom Graf (Elbridge, N.Y. / Jordan-Elbridge) knocked down a 3-pointer, Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y. / Peru) had a lay in and a dunk followed by a Zac Adams' (Potsdam, N.Y. / Potsdam) free throw with 15:29 left.
Oneonta pushed the lead back up to 10 and led by a margin of five to 10 points for the majority of the second half.
Sophomore forward Mikey McElroy was a foil for the Bears as he had a game-high 25 points with 10 points coming from the foul line. Free throws were a huge disparity with the Red Dragons taking 20 more free throws than the Bears (34-14 advantage).
Duquette, the Bears' 6-foot-6 senior forward, came in ranked in the top-five for field goal percentage (53 percent) and rebounding (9.0 per game) in the SUNYAC.
Duquette put up 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Adams, a junior, had 19 points, one shy of his single-game season high. Sophomore guard Joe Estramonte (Greenwich, N.Y . / Greenwich) added 10 points and six assists. Graf had 14 points with 4-of-5 shooting from downtown.
"I thought Zac [Adams] did a nice job and he's played positions one through four for us," coach Dobbs said. "He has a willingness to do whatever is needed to win games."
Potsdam will hit the road next at SUNY Geneseo Friday and then will go to Brockport on Saturday.
Tip offs are slated for 8 p.m. and 4 p.m.