PURCHASE, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (4-5) used a second half surge to defeat Manhattanville College (7-6) Saturday evening. Senior forward Curtis Pierce posted a career-high performance with 30 points and nine rebounds.
The Bears claimed the early lead behind a three-point basket by Pierce at the 18:40 mark. Both teams battled back-and-forth, exchanging the lead 12 times throughout the first half. Manhattanville began to pull away with 13:40 remaining when junior guard Colin Campbell drained a three pointer to spark a 7-1 run. Potsdam answered as sophomore forward Zac Adams and junior forward Colin Peterson each drained a three to give the Bears a 25-24 advantage. The Valiants were able to recover and a dunk by junior forward Jack Bramswig sparked a 7-0 run with 8:17 remaining in the half. The Bears continued to fight in the remaining minutes of the first half. Freshman forward Tariq McIntyre sparked a 6-0 run with 1:21 remaining with a pair of free throws. Pierce followed with a drive to the basket and senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. closed out the half with a layup to cut the deficit to 46-45.
Manhatanville started the second half with two quick buckets to claim the early advantage. However, Potsdam responded behind Pierce. The Brooklyn native converted on a layup at the 17:56 mark to claim a 51-50 lead. The Valiants were able to halt the charge and notch the game at 55 all with 14:47 remaining. Shortly after, Pierce buried a three-point basket to reclaim the advantage. The Bears fed off the momentum and a layup by senior guard Josh Lambert capped off a 10-2 run. Manhattanville slowly chipped away at the lead and tied the contest at 80 a piece with 48 seconds remaining. Pierce then buried a long-range jump shot from the left corner with just 18 ticks on the clock. The Valiants then committed a costly turnover with just six seconds remaining to give the Bears the ball. A quick foul sent Adams to the line. The Potsdam native hit both of his free throws to put the Bears up by four points. Lake then stole the inbounds pass and added a last second layup to seal the 86-80 victory.
The Bears shot 56% from the floor and 43% from beyond the arc. Potsdam held the advantage in rebounds, pulling in 34 boards to the Valiants 24. Lake posted 12 points and nine assists. Junior forward Rob Duquette tallied 11 points and seven rebounds.
Bramswig led the Valiants with 21 points and seven boards. Anthony Maestre totaled 17 points. Andrew Winter added 13 points and Campbell finished with 12.
The Bears return to the court tomorrow as they travel to Northern New Jersey to take on Ramapo College at 3 p.m.