By Brian Savard
POTSDAM – SUNY Potsdam (7-8, 3-5 SUNYAC) scored 20 points in the second overtime period, 17 of which came off free throws, vaulting the Bears past the SUNY New Paltz men’s basketball team (6-9, 4-4 SUNYAC), 105-95, in double overtime on Saturday afternoon at Welsh Gymnasium.
Senior guard/forward Shereef Taylor’s dunk at 1:50 of the second half gave the Hawks a six-point lead, but Potsdam scored five unanswered points in two possessions to draw within one with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. Junior guard Andrew Joseph knocked down a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to swell the Hawk lead to three, but Zac Adams scored for Potsdam to pull the Bears within one. Taylor made one of two shots on a two-shot foul and missed the back end, allowing Mark Lake, Jr. to score with three seconds left to tie the game. A turnover gave Potsdam one last crack at the win, but a missed three-pointer by Curtis Pierce sent the game into overtime with the score at 81-all.
In the first overtime period, Potsdam struck first 26 seconds into the stanza with a Pierce layup. Devine was able to cash in on a layup with 1:19 left in the period to tie the score at 85-all, and that would be the margin all the way through the buzzer, signaling the need for a second overtime.
Potsdam scored the first six points of the second overtime period - all of which came off free throws - but Devine cut the deficit to four with 3:06 remaining. Lake Jr. and freshman forward Kevin Roach traded made free throws to keep the edge at four, but Colin Peterson hit a three-pointer to give the Bears a seven-point cushion. Down the stretch, Potsdam scored its final 10 points off free throws, and the Hawks were unable to catch up.
Devine registered his fifth double-double of the year with 19 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds. Taylor tied Devine for the team-high in points with 19, while freshman forward Deveino McRae added 14. Taylor’s stat line also included five rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block.
For Potsdam, four players reached double figures, including Lake Jr., who netted a game-high 34 points off 12-of-17 shooting from the floor and 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Pierce scored 27 points, while Peterson and Zac Adams netted 20 and 12, respectively.