Red Dragons pull away from Bears, 66-56
CORTLAND, N.Y.--- The SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (5-9, 2-6 SUNYAC) fell to the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons (6-8, 2-6 SUNYAC) on Friday night. While the Bears played better in the second half, the Dragons continued to be aggressive and get to the free throw line to stay ahead and win the game. Freshman guard Dyamon Hunter (Bronx, N.Y./Thurgood Marshall Academy) finished with 14 points. Sophomore center Naya Walters (Bronx, N.Y./Women's Academy of Excellence) and freshman forward Devyn Elliott (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) each had 11 rebounds and had 13 and 11 points respectively.
The first quarter saw both teams shoot from long range, with both combining for seven 3-point shots made. Cortland's Tanna Mohammed hit a three-pointer at the 2:14 mark which put the Red Dragon's up four, the largest lead of the quarter. The Bears responded with a three of their own off a drive and kick from Elliott to Hunter. Cortland led Potsdam 16-14 after one quarter.The two teams traded the lead to open the second quarter, until a midrange jumper by Shannon McGuire sparked a 9-0 run by Cortland, that was capped off by a three-pointer from the left corner by Kristy Vitucci. Potsdam struggled on offense in the quarter, only scoring eight points. The Red Dragons led the Bears 29-22 at halftime.
Potsdam had a better showing in the third quarter. Their scoring inside and getting to the line was key for their offense and getting back into the game. Sophomore forward Nicole Hansen's (Fulton, N.Y./G. Ray Bodley) pass from the top of the key to junior guard Leah Giavatto (Beacon, N.Y./Beacon) inside brought the Bears to within three with 1:36 left in the third. Cortland responded with six unanswered points to close the quarter which was attributed to free throw shooting.
The Red Dragons took their first double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter after Alaina Lynch's cross court pass to Vitucci for a three-pointer. The teams traded baskets midway through the quarter, then struggled in the later stages. Lynch's three-pointer was the first basket in nearly two minutes for either team, forcing Potsdam to call a timeout with a 1:44 left, down nine. Coming out of the timeout, the Bears immediately scored with Walters converting on a three-point play. Following a pear of free throws from Cortland, senior guard Riley Luckie (Ogdensburg, N.Y. / Ogdensburg) hit her third three-pointer of the night and brought Potsdam to within five with a little over a minute remaining, While Cortland struggled to make shots for the remaining of the quarter, it was their defense and free throw shooting down the stretch which kept the Bears at bay, and the Red Dragons won 66-56.
Vitucci led all scorers with 19 points for the Red Dragons, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. Shannon McGuire chipped in with 13 points and snagged down seven boards.
The teams were nearly identical in shots made and attempted, with Cortland making 19-of-60, and Potsdam making 22-of-60.
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow as they take on Oswego at 1 p.m. This will be Potsdam's last road game before their four-game home stand.