Potsdam, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team defeated the College of St. Joseph (Vt.) 74-59 in the first round of the North Country Invitational at Clarkson University. Forward Anthony Williams (Long Island, N.Y./Upper Room Christian Academy) recorded a double-double for the Bears with a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Joshua Lambert (Brooklyn, N.Y./East New York Transit Tech) also contributed 12 points for Potsdam.
The two teams battled back in forth in the first half, trading the lead five times. However, Potsdam never trailed by more than two points. The Bears closed the half on an 8-1 run capped by a Williams layup with 17 seconds left. The bucket gave Potsdam a 33-27 lead at the half.
The Bears never trailed in the second half and steadily built their lead. A three-pointer from sophomore guard Jordan McAllister (Cornwall, Ontario/St. Joseph's Catholic) gave Potsdam its biggest lead of the game at 18 with 12:25 to play. A jumper by Fighting Saint Brendan Rios closed the gap to 62-57 with 3:41 remaining, but the Bears responded with a 12-2 run to put the game away.
Potsdam shot 38.5 percent from the floor, and held St. Joseph to 33.3 percent. Both teams grabbed 40 rebounds. Rios led the Fighting Saints (1-1) with 15 points and Ramel Anderson added 10 more.
Bears Head Coach Sherry Dobbs was happy with the win, but saw room for improvement.
“We were a little sloppy early and in the second half too,” said Dobbs. “We didn’t rebound real well either, but it was good that we showed we can finish.”
Dobbs saw plenty of strong individual performances.
“Skip Schwartz (Rochester, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon) played well on defense for us and Curtis Pierce (Brooklyn, N.Y./George Westinghouse Vocational) did a nice job rebounding,” added Dobbs. “Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y./Peru) made some nice plays too.”
The Bears (1-1) are back in action tomorrow at 3 p.m., when they face host Clarkson in the North Country Invitational Championship.