POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (5-8) downed Utica College (5-11) 79-66 Tuesday night. Senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. led the Bears with 18 points and eight rebounds. Senior forward Curtis Pierce recorded his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Potsdam quickly darted out to a 15-4 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Pierce gave the Bears the early advantage with a 15-foot jumper at the 19:19 mark. Utica senior guard Matt Baldwin halted the Potsdam momentum with a jumper and sparked a 10-0 run. Freshman guard Joe Estramonte answered the Pioneers charge with a three pointer with 7:03 remaining. Estramonte's three started an 11-2 spurt for Potsdam to extend the lead to 10 with 4:56 left in the half. The Bears continued to role as a jumper by sophomore forward Zac Adams and a pair of free throws by Lake gave Potsdam the 35-23 advantage at halftime.
The Bears continued to increase the deficit in the beginning of the second half. A quick three-point basket by Lake 30 seconds into the game put Potsdam up 13 points. Utica chipped away at the Bears lead. Junior forward Connor Maisch was able to spark an 11-3 run for the Pioneers with three consecutive baskets from beyond the arc with 10:07 remaining. Estramonte responded again with a jump shot to spark a 13-2 Potsdam run at the 5:09 mark. The Pioneers made a late 7-0 push with 1:55 left in the contest. However, Pierce converted on an old fashion three point play at the 1:32 mark to secure the 79-66 victory.
Potsdam shot 49% from the floor and 41% beyond the arc. The Bears held the advantage in rebounds with 46 to Utica's 32. Junior forward Colin Peterson closed out the Potsdam top scorers with 14 points.
Sophomore guard Aaron Nevins led the Pioneers in scoring with 14 points. Baldwin finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Maisch tallied 12 points and six boards. Junior forward Chris Jeffers added 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Bears are back in action on Friday, Jan. 18th versus Oneonta State at 8 p.m.