ONEONTA, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (8-12, 4-9 SUNYAC) used a late surge to defeat Oneonta State (2-18, 1-12 SUNYAC), 73-66 Saturday afternoon. Senior captain Curtis Pierce recorded a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. The Brooklyn native is now 7th on the all-time scoring and rebound lists with 1,372 points and 695 boards.
Oneonta claimed the early lead behind a quick layup and a three-point basket two minutes into the game. Junior forward Brandon Williams would put the Bears on the board first with back-to-back layups to prevent a Red Dragon run. Both teams would exchange baskets with Oneonta holding the slight advantage. Sophomore forward Zac Adams gave Potsdam its first lead of the contest at the 13:34 mark with a bucket in the paint. The lead would exchange hands five times in the next three minutes before a layup by Adams sparked an 8-0 run for the Bears. The Red Dragons slowly climbed back into the game behind a pair of baskets by junior guard Dan Lee to cut the lead to three points with 5:30 remaining. Oneonta continued to gain momentum as a layup from freshman forward Jackson Zuvic at the 2:49 mark started a late 7-0 run to notch the game at 33 all going into the half.
Both teams jostled for position throughout the final stanza. Pierce was able to spark a quick 6-0 spurt to open up the second half for the Bears. The Red Dragons continued to fight, as back-to-back three pointers would tie the game at 43 a piece with 15:58 remaining. Just one minute later, Lee connected on a pair of buckets from beyond the arc to claim a 49-47 lead. Pierce responded with three baskets to reclaim the lead at the 7:14 mark. Oneonta had an answer for the senior as a layup by freshman guard Jack Dignan gave the Red Dragons the 60-58 edge with 6:09 left in the game. However, Potsdam would go on a late 15-6 spurt behind Pierce to secure the 73-66 victory.
Potsdam shot 45% from the floor and 50% from the three-point line. The Bears edged Oneonta in rebounds, 40 to 34. Adams finished with 15 points. Williams rounded out the top Potsdam scorers with 13 points, respectively.
Lee led the Red Dragons with 19 points. Sophomore guard Zach Mager totaled 17 points and six rebounds. Zuvic added 11 points and seven boards.
Potsdam returns to action on Feb. 8 versus SUNY Geneseo at 8 p.m. in Jerry Welsh Gymnasium for Bear Pride Night.