Potsdam women end skid in basketball, pick up first conference win
POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam women’s basketball team snapped a six-game losing streak Friday, defeating Brockport 59-51 in a State University of New York Athletic Conference affair at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.
Sophomore Katy Briedis (Canton, N.Y.), who scored a game-high 19 points for the Bears (2-8 overall, 1-2 SUNYAC), put the finishing touches on the victory with a 3-point play with just under a minute remaining. The gritty play gave Potsdam a 55-49 advantage and halted the Golden Eagles’ comeback effort.“Katy was able to hit some threes and had a big play to kind of put us back over the edge,” Potsdam coach Tara Ruckh said. “She did a good job of being under control. We didn’t close out on shooters after we dropped back into our man defense and missed some free throws in the second half, but I’m pleased with the energy, effort and consistency we showed tonight.”
The Bears led by as many as 16 in the second half before Brockport (2-7, 0-2) narrowed the deficit to three with 1:12 left in the contest.
Potsdam used a full-court pressure defense and stellar first-half shooting (55 percent) to take a 33-22 lead into halftime. A 12-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from freshman Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.), gave the Bears a 31-19 lead with 2:18 on the clock in the first.
“It was important for us to get shots to go in early,” Ruckh said. “Scoring some points early built our confidence and allowed us to use a pressure defense. We had a certain energy tonight.”
Potsdam pushed its momentum into the second half, taking a 40-24 lead at the 17:02 mark following a 3-point play by senior captain Aimee Kellicutt (Lisle, N.Y.), before the Golden Eagles clawed their way back into the game.
Kouzan tallied 12 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Kellicutt posted nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The Bears outscored the Golden Eagles 24-10 in the paint and tallied 22 points off 18 forced turnovers.
“I thought Aimee did a great job at the top of our zone press … she got a lot of deflections,” Ruckh said. “Jess Kouzan gave us a great lift off the bench and made some big shots. Overall, it was a great group effort, and about as complete of a game as we’ve played all season.”
The Bears return to the Welsh Gymnasium floor tomorrow against Geneseo. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.