Onabor scores 1000th point as Bears men's basketball holds off Hawks, 73-71
Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 8:17 am

POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (4-3) completed a SUNYAC weekend sweep with a 73-71 victory against SUNY New Paltz (2-3) in Jerry Welsh Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. Junior guard Jayquan Thomas (Hollis, N.Y./Richmond Hill) picked up where he left off of last night with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Bears. Senior guard Nosa Onabor (Brooklyn, N.Y./Northside Charter) finished with 15 points and senior guard Dante Langley (Schuylerville, N.Y/Schuylerville) chipped in with 13 points and four rebounds. Senior forward Serigne Kane (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooklyn Prep) tallied nine points and 12 rebounds in the win.

The first half, like the entire game, featured back and forth action. The Bears continued their hot 3-point shooting on the weekend, with six different players connecting from behind the arc. At the 4:35 mark, Onabor hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give him 1,001 career points. On the next play junior guard Danny Delsol-Lowry (Queens, N.Y./Queens HS of Teaching) hit one from the corner. The basket gave Potsdam a seven-point lead and the Hawks called timeout. New Paltz continued to battle and got a layup from junior center Matt English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) who found himself open to end the half and got the Hawks within 34-32 at the break.

The two teams stayed neck and neck in the second half. An outlet pass from Delsol-Lowry to Thomas for a layup gave Potsdam a 40-36 advantage. However, junior center Nick Arthur (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) energized New Paltz with a a dunk on the next play at 16:53. The play was part of an 8-0 run that gave New Paltz a 44-40 lead. Potsdam regained the lead after Thomas faked and went up for a layup at the 13:35 mark in the midst of an 8-0 stretch of its own. At the 9:42 mark, the Hawks double-teamed Kane forcing a turnover and English finished a fast break layup afterwards to make it 52-51 New Paltz. Potsdam responded with a basket and the foul from Kane, making the game 54-52 in favor of the Bears. A 3-pointer late from Onabor gave Potsdam six-point cushion with just over four minutes remaining. Again, Potsdam couldn't shake the Hawks. Junior forward Tristan Wissemann (Shelter Island, N.Y./ Shelter Island) was rewarded the basket and the foul after a contact layup. The successful 3-point play made it 65-61 Bears with 2:57 left. Soon after another Potsdam layup, Wissemann hit a 3-pointer from the corner. The bucket shaved the lead to just 67-64 with 2:17 left. After a Potsdam timeout and missed shot, sophomore guard Jake Passaretti (Holbrook, N.Y./ Sachem East High School) attacked the basket and finished through two defenders, bringing the visitors to within one. Thomas then drilled a much needed trifecta, putting the Bears up 70-66 with 35 seconds left. Coming out of a timeout, New Paltz came back with a three of its own from junior forward Scott Reisert (Middletown, N.Y./SUNY Orange) which made it 70-69. A pair of free throws from junior guard Aaron Armstrong (Lisbon, N.Y./Madrid-Waddington) and a layup from Reisert had the game back at a one point difference with three seconds remaining. After a foul by Passaretti, Thomas hit one out of two free throws, and the Hawks missed the half court prayer, giving the Bears the 73-71 victory.

Wissemann had a team-high 16 points for the Hawks, and senior guard Paddy Parr (Red Hook, N.Y./Red Hook) posted 14 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Passaretti and Reisert finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

The weekend was the first sweep of SUNYAC opponents since the Bears defeated Oneonta and New Paltz in back-to-back games on January 18-19, 2013. It's the first time Potsdam has opened league play 2-0 since the 2008-09 campaign.

New Paltz shot 45.3 percent from the field, while Potsdam shot 48.9 percent.

Potsdam heads down Route 11 to take on SUNY Canton on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.