Long range shooting propels Hawks past Potsdam wome's basketball
POTSDAM, N.Y.--- A strong 3-point showing in the first quarter by SUNY New Paltz (4-2, 2-0 SUNYAC) lifted the Hawks over the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (3-5, 0-2) 82-54 on Saturday afternoon at the Jerry Welsh Gymnasium. Sophomore center Naya Walters (Bronx, N.Y./Women's Academy of Excellence) posted 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Devyn Elliot (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) finished with 14 points and grabbed eight boards.
The first quarter was an exchange of buckets by both teams in the first few minutes. New Paltz built up a nine-point lead in the closing moments. Senior guard Lindsay Bettke (Pelham, N.Y./The Ursuline School) scored off a layup, then junior guard Marion Dietz (Half-Hollow Hills East High School) had a layup of her own followed by a 3-pointer from the corner. After a Potsdam timeout, the Hawks drilled back-to-back threes, first by senior guard Rachel Simon (Wallkill, N.Y./Walkill) from the top of the key, and then in transition from Bettke. New Paltz closed the quarter with their sixth trifecta, with Simon hitting another one from the same spot. The Hawks led 28-10 at the end of one.New Paltz continued its 3-point barrage in the second quarter, with senior guard Taylor Howell (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin) hitting back-to-back shots to begin the period. Potsdam struggled to generate shots, as the Hawks defense was disruptive all quarter long. A layup by freshman guard Bridget Whelan (Albany, N.Y./Albany), followed by a 3-pointer from Simon gave the Hawks their largest lead of the game at 27 with 33 seconds left in the half. New Paltz led 49-24 at the break.
Potsdam came out in the second half with more aggressiveness in the painted area, resulting in more free-throws. The Bears were also able to score in transition, with Walters getting the steal and the layup at the 2:53 mark. The play capped off a 10-3 run by the Bears. New Paltz came alive late, as Bettke finished around the basket through three defenders, then Howell connected on her third 3-pointer of the evening. The Hawks led 64-43 after three quarters.
Howell stayed hot, hitting two more shots from behind the arc in the fourth. Potsdam struggled on offense for the final three minutes with time against them, and they weren't able to counter the Hawks attack, losing 82-54.
Howell finished with a game-high 21 points and was 5-for-9 from behind the arc. Bettke posted 17 points and seven assists. Simon chipped in with 16 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Next, the Bears are on the road for a meeting with SUNY Geneseo on Friday at 5:30 p.m.