The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (1-3, 0-1 SUNYAC) dropped their SUNYAC opener to Cortland (4-0, 1-0 SUNYAC), 86-59. Senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. lead the Bears in scoring with 13 points.
Potsdam claimed an early lead just 17 seconds in the game off of a jump shot by junior forward Rob Duquette. Both teams battled back-and-forth throughout the first half, exchanging the lead 11 times. Cortland began to separate from the Bears at the 7:08 mark when Jesse Winter drained a three to put the Red Dragons on top. Winter's three pointer sparked a 9-0 run for Cortland as Potsdam struggle to find the basket. Freshman forward Rob Lamont ended the Bears' drought with 2:42 remaining in the half. The Bears attempted to mount an offensive but the Red Dragons were up to the task. Cortland's Kevin McMahon extended the lead with a basket as time expired in the first half to notch the score at 38-30.
The Cortland offense continued to stay red hot in the second half. The Red Dragons went on a tear as they extended their lead to 30 points with 10:30 remaining in the contest. The Bears chipped away at the large lead behind a late push by Lake. However, the deficit proved to be too great for Potsdam to overcome. Cortland shot 52% from the floor and secured the 86-59 victory in the SUNYAC opener.
Senior forward Curtis Pierce and Duquette each notched 12 points. Potsdam shot 37% from the floor and 47% from the free throw line.
Senior guard Brian Manning led the Red Dragons with 18 points and five rebounds. Senior guard Harrison Hefele posted 14 points and five boards. McMahon contributed 13 points and six rebounds. Winter rounded out the top scorers for Cortland with 12 points. The Red Dragons shot 81% from the charity stripe, 41% from beyond the arch, and received 38 points from the bench.
The Bears return to the court tomorrow for their 4 p.m. contest versus the Oswego Lakers.