Bears start strong, finish with league win in men's basketball
Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 12:09 am

POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with strong play on both ends of the floor Friday, knocking off Brockport 74-60 in a State University of New York Athletic Conference showdown at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.

The Bears (3-7 overall, 2-1 SUNYAC) shot 50 percent in the first half while allowing the Golden Eagles to shoot just 31.3 percent from the field, taking a 43-25 advantage at halftime and holding on in the second for the triumph.

Potsdam extended its 2-3 zone defense out to half court, not allowing Brockport (3-6, 1-1) to settle into its half-court offense. Offensively, the Bears used strong ball movement against the Golden Eagles’ zone to get open shots from all over the floor.

“It was extremely important for us to get started quickly, because we have a tendency to start slowly,” Potsdam coach Sherry Dobbs said. “We were ready to play tonight … I like the way we attacked their zone and got the ball reversed from side to side.”

After taking a 20-point lead on a jumper by freshman Tom Pearson (Okotoks, Alberta) with 17:07 to play in the second half, Brockport would get as close as nine points, but the Bears never lost control of the game during the period. Potsdam made 22-of-28 free throws for the contest while Brockport connected on just 16-of-29.

“Brockport is a good team, so we knew they’d make a run,” Dobbs said. “I thought we handled their physicality, pressure and traps, and came back at them when they made their run.”

Sophomore Curtis Pierce (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all scorers with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman Greg Torchon (Spring Valley, N.Y.) was the only other Bear to reach double-figures with 11 points, including a 6-of-7 performance at the free-throw line.

“Curtis gave us a lot of effort and intensity … that’s the way he always plays,” Dobbs said. “I also thought (freshman) Rob Duquette did a great job rebounding in the second half, and Greg and (senior) Eddie Cross gave us a great lift off the bench.”

Duquette (Peru, N.Y.) totaled six points and eight rebounds, while Cross finished with five points.

Potsdam resumes SUNYAC play tomorrow against Geneseo. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Welsh Gymnasium.