By Liam Sample
The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team lost their SUNYAC conference debut against The Potsdam Bears 84-80 Nov. 30 at Memorial Hall.
In the first half, the teams nearly went score for score to start the game. Junior Erik Salo hit back to back layups to bring the score to 19-18 in favor of Potsdam with 8:35 remaining in the half.
The Bears proceeded to take over, going on ten point run while only surrendering three. This was capped off by a three pointer from freshman guard Jeff Williamson to put his team up eight with 4:36 left. Potsdam continued to capitalize and finished the half leading 38-29.
To start the second half, Plattsburgh attempted to get back into the game with a 7-0 run with 16:46 left. However, they had trouble handling the Bears offense. Freshman forward Parker Kelly secured a layup to put Potsdam up 22 with a little over 11 minutes to play.
The Cardinals began to chip away, after bringing the score to 71-54, they went on another 7-0 run that ended with senior forward/guard Sheriff Conteh drilling a three to bring the deficit down to ten. With 2:18 remaining, Salo hit another layup to bring the Potsdam lead down to six.
On the next possession, first year guard Franklin Infante hit a three to make it a one possession game, with a score of 77-74. Infante finished the game with seven points. The Bears called a timeout and came out of the break scoring four straight points to slow down Plattsburgh’s momentum.
After the Cardinals nearly completed the comeback, they struggled in the final minute, allowing Potsdam to finish the job. They won the game by four points.
After the rough first half, shooting 32.43% from the field and 8.33% from three, the team improved to 46.81% from the field and a three point percentage of 25% in the second. They pressured Potsdam into thirteen turnovers.
Salo led the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds, despite starting the game on the bench. Behind him was first year guard Kevin Tabb who tallied fifteen points and six assists, which was a career high and tied for the team lead.
Potsdam brings their record to 2-2 and starts their conference games with a win. Plattsburgh’s record goes down to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Their losing streak extends to four games.