POTSDAM - The start of the 2013-14 season for the mens and womens basketball teams highlighted last weeks winter sports action for SUNY Potsdam.
The mens basketball team split a pair of games in its hosted Casella North Country Invitational at Welsh Gymnasium.
On Friday, Potsdam rallied past SUNY Canton for a 71-69 victory. Senior captain Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards for the Bears. Sophomore guard Joe Estramonte (Greenwich, N.Y.) added 12, while junior captain Zac Adams (Potsdam, N.Y.) and junior forward Rishawd Hendricks (Brooklyn, N.Y.) contributed 11 and 10, respectively.
Canton held a nine-point lead with 15:24 to play in the second half at 52-43, but couldnt put the Bears away. A layup from senior forward Brandon Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tied the score at 54-54 just over five minutes later.
The Kangaroos built their lead back to seven with 8:28 on the clock, but Potsdam went on a 6-0 run to get back to within 61-60. With 3:23 left, Estramonte sparked Potsdam with its lone three-pointer of the night to get the Bears within 65-63. Potsdam closed out the contest with an 8-4 run on free throws and layups from Duquette and Williams.
On Saturday, Farmingdale State (2-0) overcame Potsdam (1-1) 71-63 in the final game. Duquette and Adams were named to the all-tournament team. Adams had a career-high 20 points and Duquette recorded his second straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Senior forward Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.) scored a career-high 24 points and junior guard Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y.) recorded a double-double (21pts., 10 reb) as Potsdam downed Utica College 78-77 on the road in their season opener.
Early in the second half, Potsdam extended its lead to 16 at 62-46 on a layup from junior guard Colleen McNamara (Guelph, Ontario). However, sophomore guard Mary Miceli kept Pioneers in the game single handedly with 23 of the teams 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.
Potsdam went on the road and lost two close games on the weekend.
On Friday, the Bears raced out to a 2-0 lead strengthened by team captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta).
But, it would not hold as the Bears faltered late to Buffalo State 3-2 in an ECAC West game.
Sophomore forward Billy Pascalli (Deer Park ,N.Y.) added to the lead at 12:12 in the first period on assists from junior defender Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala.) and senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario). It was Arnolds 32nd career goal in 66 games.
On Saturday, Fredonia State (2-3, 2-2 SUNYAC) rallied from 3-2 and 4-3 deficits to defeat Potsdam (0-6, 0-5) 6-4 on Saturday night.
Arnold scored twice and Pascalli added a goal and an assist for the Bears. Senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario) gave the Bears their first lead of the contest 41 seconds into the second period. Junior forward Trevor Cope (Swartz Creek, Mich.) and junior defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala.) assisted on the goal.
Potsdam hosted two games against No. 4 Elmira and went 0-2.
On Friday, the Soaring Eagles came out firing and charged to a 4-0 lead on goals from Brooke Wilgosh, Erin Weston, Ashley Ryan and Johanna Eidensten to enter the first intermission.
Elmira, the defending Division III womens hockey champions and a team that had received 94 points in the latest USCHO.com poll, controlled the pace from the outset.
But the Bears showed plenty of grit as coach Jay Greens squad scored three of the games final five goals.
Senior forward Jessica Silveira (Brampton, Ontario) struck for the first Potsdam goal at 14:21 in the second period on a slap shot just in front of the blue line.
It was Silveiras first goal of the season and 25th of her career. Freshman Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y.) assisted.
After an Elmira goal by Ashton Hogan in the opening minute of the third period, Potsdam answered back with two goals by assistant captain Jenn Crawford (Burlington, Ontario) in the span of just one minute and 26 seconds.
On Saturday, sophomore goal tender Alexane Rodrigue (Monkland, Ontario) piled up 37 saves and her Bears teammates put forth a much more competitive effort from just a day earlier, but No. 4 Elmira sped to a 3-0 ECAC West win.
Freshman forward Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y.) led the Bears with six shots while senior assistant captain Jenn Crawford (Burlington, Ontario) and senior Amanda Lucky (Kanata, Ontario) each took five shots apiece on goal. Lucky also won on seven of her eight face offs.
The Potsdam mens and the womens swimming and diving teams hosted their home opener of the season against the College at Brockport on Saturday.
Four Potsdam swimmers won at least two individual events and the mens relay team claimed a pair of victories, but both teams were edged out by the Golden Eagles with nearly identical scores.
The Bears mens team lost 158-131 while the women dropped 157-130. Each team is now 1-2 on the season.
The mens team of junior Dan Costa, senior Richie Zimmerman, sophomore Tyler Zapisek and freshman Ricky Blackburn doubled up by winning the 200-yard medley relay with a finals time of 1:40.67 and the 200 freestyle relay in 1:30.00.
Blackburn won the 200 freestyle in 1:57.99. Costa picked up a victory in the 100 backstroke (55.87) while Zimmerman easily outdistanced Brockports Matt Panebianco by nearly seven seconds to win the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.77. Zimmerman also zoomed to an easy victory in the 200 breaststroke (2:16.67)
Zapisek touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle at 22.22 and the 100 freestyle in 49.57.
The Potsdam women got another boost from its incoming freshman class as Kristin Canjura took first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle by clocking in at 11:25.97 and Jennifer Yeager took home the 200 freestyle in 2:06.00. Canjura doubled up by taking the 500 freestyle in 5:34.60.
Junior Laurissa Coombs narrowly defeated Brockports Alanna Blasting by .34 of a second in the 200 butterfly (2:23.06). Coombs, a junior, also won the 200 backstroke by finishing at 2:23.27. Junior Victoria Blakeslee picked up the 400 individual medley in 5:02.78.
The SUNY Potsdam mens and womens cross country teams wrapped up their fall season at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships at Letchworth State Park in Geneseo on Saturday.
For the Potsdam men, sophomore Brandon Bobik had the top time of 29:42.5. He was followed by junior Joseph Rafter (30.31.3), junior Adam Lang (31:59.3) and freshman Ryan Sullivan (32:34.9).
The Potsdam women were led by sophomore Hannah Groshner, who crossed the finish line at 25:19.6. Sophomore Olivia Rehm was next at 26:15.9 and followed by senior Kinga Kanezura (29:54.1) and sophomore Carissa Cuccia (30.04.5).
The SUNY Potsdam equestrian team took part in the Elsa Gunnison Appleton Riding Hall of Saturday hosted by St. Lawrence University on the weekend.
The Bears top finishers were junior Carlene Benson (Averill Park, N.Y.), who placed second in the novice over the fences event on Saturday and freshman Olivia Allard (Cambridge, N.Y.), who also placed second in the beginner walk trot event on Sunday.
Potsdam had a slew of third-place finishes. Senior Kaitlin Brand (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and junior Christine Schofield (Monroe, N.Y.) were each third in the advanced walk trot canter.
Junior Ellen Specht (East Hampton, N.Y.), junior Samantha Swinney (Fonda, N.Y.) and freshman Amy-Marie Malik (Kingston, N.Y.) all were third in the beginner walk trot canter.
ATHELTES OF THE WEEK
Junior guard/forward Zac Adams averaged 15.5 points, shot 12-of-19 from the field and made 6-of-7 free throws in the North Country Classic against SUNY Canton and Farmingdale over the weekend. He also totaled seven assists.
Senior forward Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.) scored a career-high 24 points and sank two late free throws to lift Potsdam to a 78-77 road victory against Utica College on Saturday. She shot 8-16 from the field and made 5-of-5 free throws. She also had two steals.
The mens basketball team will play at Clarkson University on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The womens basketball team will play at Hamilton College on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The mens hockey team will play a home and home against SUNY Canton on Friday and Saturday at Canton. Both games are at 7 p.m.
The womens hockey team will play at Hamilton College Tuesday at 7 p.m., at SUNY Cortland on Friday at 7 p.m. and at SUNY Cortland on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The swimming and diving teams will host the North Country Invitational Friday beginning at 4 p.m. and will resume Saturday at 10 a.m.