POTSDAM, N.Y.—Strong free throw shooting late in the contest allowed Buffalo State (3-3, 1-2 SUNYAC) to pull away from the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (1-7, 0-3) for a 68-56 victory at Welsh Gymnasium on Friday night. The Bears trailed by 17 at the half only to tie the score with 6:03 remaining. Junior forward Shay Jackson scored a game-high 16 points, while teammate Bianca Smiley scored another 14 and grabbed 12 boards for a double-double. Potsdam sophomore Bailey Weigel scored a team-high 14 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.
Buffalo State led just 12-9 at the 13:35 mark of the first half before the Bengal offense caught fire. Buffalo State outscored the Bears 24-10 over of the rest of the period for a 36-19 advantage. Shay and Smiley were a big reason for the burst, heading into the break with 14 and eight points, respectively. Weigel led Potsdam with six first half points.
The Bears fought their way back from the 17-point deficit in the second half, thanks in part to a 32-22 advantage in rebounds. Potsdam opened the final period with a 9-0 run capped by a layup from Weigel to make it a 36-28 game at 16:17. Over the next 10 minutes, the Bears outscored the Bengals 22-14 and a jumper from junior forward Jessica Kouzan tied the game at 50 all. With the score 56-54 in Buffalo State's favor and 4:01 on the clock, the Bengals found their way to the free throw line. Buffalo State finished the game on a perfect 8-for-8 streak from the line, including four in-a-row from junior guard Kelly Kell to help seal the win.
Potsdam senior captain Katy Briedis hit double-digits with 11 points. Kouzan just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Carli Reynolds (Indian Lake, N.Y./Indian Lake) matched a career-high with eight points.
Freshman guard Mariah Norris finished with 10 points for the Bengals, while Kell and sophomore forward Ashley Wallace each contributed another eight.
The Bengals shot 39 percent from the floor and held the Bears to just under 25. Potsdam out-rebounded Buffalo State 51-49.
The Bears are back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m. when they host the Fredonia State Blue Devils to finish out the first half of their 2012-13 campaign.