Continentals edge Bears in OT thriller, 76-69

11.23.13

CLINTON, N.Y.—Hamilton College (2-2) held off the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (2-1) 76-69 in an overtime thriller on Saturday afternoon. Senior guard Chenice Russell (Moira, N.Y./Brushton-Moira) led the Bears with a career-high 13 points. Junior guard Veronica Sapp (Potsdam, N.Y./Potsdam) also had a career day with 12 points.

Potsdam found itself in an 18-11 hole at the 11:20 mark of the first half, but used a 17-9 run over the next six minutes to grab its first lead of the contest at 28-27. Freshman forward Patti Dorgler (Floral Park, N.Y./Archbishop Malloy) hit three straight field goals to spark the run. The Continentals answered with a 10-5 stretch to reclaim the lead at 37-32. However, the Bears weren't done. A layup from senior captain Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y./Webster Schroeder) with five seconds left capped an 8-0 run to give Potsdam a 40-37 lead at the break.

The offense ground to a halt early in the second half as neither team hit a field goal for the first 3:08. It was junior captain Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East) that broke the drought with a jumper at 16:52 to make it a 42-38 contest. The teams traded few buckets over the next six minutes until a Corinne Hom layup gave Hamilton back the lead at 47-46 with 9:56 left. The Continentals never trailed again in regulation and built their lead to as big as 55-50 with 6:59 to go. Potsdam charged back again with an 8-3 run to tie the score at 58 all at 3:09. Sapp hit a jumper a minute later to tie the score at 60. Continental Florence Turiaf answered with a layup for a 62-60 lead with 1:40 on the clock. After a Hamilton missed layup with 14 seconds left, senior captain Hannah Kmiecinski (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) hauled in the rebound and the Bears called timeout. When play resumed, Weigel was fouled away from the ball and sent to the line to shoot one-and-one. She hit both to tie the score and the Continentals missed a long three at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Just 16 seconds into the extra session, Russell buried a three to give Potsdam a 65-62 advantage. After Hamilton's Dani Feigin connect from behind the arc to give the Continentals a 69-67 lead with 1:54 remaining, Russell tied the score with a layup. Feigin drained another three with 39 seconds on the clock to give Hamilton the lead for good at 72-69. The Continentals sank their four final free throws to escape with the 76-69 final.

Hamilton shot nearly 37 from the floor to Potsdam's 31. The Bears buried 29 of their 36 free throws on the night.

Kouzan finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Weigel totaled 10 points and four boards, while Kmiecinski and Dorgler each had eight on the day.

Feigin and Samantha Graber each posted a game-high 20 points for the Continentals. Turiaf added 13 and Serena Ward chipped in 12.

Potsdam is off until Dec. 3 when the Bears head across town to face Clarkson at 6 p.m.