Kouzan, Weigel lead Bears over Utica in season opener, 78-77
UTICA, N.Y.—Senior forward Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y./Webster Schroeder) scored a career-high 24 points and junior guard Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East) recorded a double-double (21pts., 10 reb) as the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (1-0) downed Utica College (0-1) 78-77 on the road.
The Pioneers raced out to a 9-2 lead just 3:34 into the game, but the Bears answered with a 14-2 run of their own and led for most the remaining contest. Several times during the opening period, Potsdam built double-digit leads. With 2:59 on the clock, a Weigel layup gave the Bears a 14-point advantage at 43-29. Utica chipped away to get within 47-39 at the break. Both teams shot a scorching 50 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
Early in the second half, Potsdam extended its lead to 16 at 62-46 on a layup from junior guard Colleen McNamara (Guelph, Ontario/Our Lady of Lourdes). However, sophomore guard Mary Miceli kept Pioneers in the game single handedly with 23 of the team's 38 second half points. A 27-9 stretch gave Utica a 73-71 lead with 2:51 to play. A Weigel jumper with 1:32 on the clock gave the Bears the lead for good at 76-75. Kouzan hit two free throws with 19 seconds remaining to build the advantage to three-points. Pioneer Samantha Stayer hit a layup with four ticks left, but it was too little too late as the Bears held on for the 78-77 victory.
Junior forward Veronica Sapp (Potsdam, N.Y./Potsdam) scored a personal-best 10 points, while junior guard Carli Reynolds (Indian Lake, N.Y./Indian Lake) added eight and senior guard Chenice Russell (Moira, N.Y./Brushton-Moira) chipped in seven and six boards. The Bears shot 44 percent on the night.
Miceli finished with a game-high 42 points and Kelcei Edmonds contributed 12 points and five rebounds to the Utica effort. Bridget Greenwald had eight points and a contest-best 12 boards.
Potsdam is back in action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when the Bears host SUNY Canton in their home opener.