POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam Women's basketball team (0-1) fell to Utica College (1-0) 58-35 in their home opener Thursday evening in Welsh Gymnasium. Senior guard Katy Briedis led the Bears in the loss with 12 points.
Foul trouble plagued the Bears during the first half of their season opener. Potsdam exchanged baskets with Utica in the early stages of the contest before junior guard Hannah Kmiecinski found junior forward Jessica Kouzan in the corner for a three pointer to claim a 13-9 lead. Utica responded in the post behind senior forward Meghan Fiore. The Bears had no answer for the senior as the Pioneers charged out to a 30-19 lead going into the half. Utica earned the advantage as they shot 11-16 from the free throw line.
The second half was similar to the first as the Bears struggle to lock down the paint. The Pioneers continued to feed Fiore underneath as they generated a 13-3 run in the first ten minutes of the final half. Potsdam received a spark from the bench as sophomore Margaret Wall and freshman Morgan Clark each notched their first collegiate points. However, the deficit was too large for the Bears to recover as the Pioneers sealed a 58-35 victory.
Fiore finished with a double-double, totaling 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pioneers. Teammate Mary Miceli added 12 points. Potsdam's Kouzan and Wall added seven and six points, respectively. The Pioneers edged the Bears in rebounds (46-34) and capitalized on 17 of 23 free throw opportunities.
“I thought we did some good things defensively and were able to create some chances on the offensive end,” said Head Coach Tara Ruckh. “We just couldn't capitalize on some key opportunities throughout the game.”
The Bears return to action Saturday, Nov. 17 when they travel to Geneva, N.Y. to take on William Smith College. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.