Women's basketball: Fast-starting Potsdam can't hold off conference-leading Buffalo State


The SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team came out with just the type of start that it was seeking at conference leading Buffalo State.

A quick 7-0 lead sparked by a driving score and 3-pointer by Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y. / Webster Schroeder) sandwiched around a layup from Chenice Russell (Moira, N.Y. / Brushton-Moira).

Russell hit a jumper and Bailey Weigel got to the free throw line and made a pair of free throws to help steady an early lead at 11-5.

Everything was going right early on for Potsdam, but the Bears began turning the ball over and it quickly turned into a 19-point halftime deficit.

It was a deficit too large to make up as Potsdam lost to its conference game at Buffalo State 76-64 on Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Potsdam (4-12 overall, 2-7 SUNYAC) shot a blistering 57 percent (11-of-19 from the floor) in the first half, but their Achilles' heal were turnovers as the Bears committed 20 in the opening 20 minutes of play.  Potsdam finished with 29 turnovers.

The Bengals (13-3 overall, 8-1 SUNYAC) were led by Bianca Smiley, who had 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds, and Staci McElroy, who had  14 points and eight rebounds.  Mariah Norris added 16 points and Olivia Luciani had 11.

Kouzan had 14 points and four steals.  Weigel had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal.  Russell had nine points, four assists and four rebounds.

Potsdam closed the game on a 16-3 run on a pair of jumpers from Weigel and sophomore Katie LaVoie (Malone, N.Y. / Franklin Academy), a pair of free throws and a layup from Colleen McNamara (Guelph, Ontario / Our Lady of Lordes) and a fast break lay in from Weigel. 
Potsdam will return home to play New Paltz in a SUNYAC game on Friday, Jan. 31 from Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.  Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.