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January 22nd, 2014

New Paltz Upended By Late Potsdam Comeback

Suny New Paltz Forward Kit Small had a career-high 24 points as the team fell prey to a late comeback by the SUNY Potsdam Bears, 57-50. Photo: Ed Diller
NEW PALTZ – Despite a career-high 24 points from freshman forward Kit Small, the State University of New York at New Paltz women’s basketball team fell prey to a late comeback by SUNY Potsdam, falling to the Bears 57-50 in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play on Saturday afternoon at the Hawk Center.

Led by Small, who tallied 18 points in the first half, the Hawks had the game seemingly in hand, leading 29-23 at halftime and by six-to-eight points in the second half, the largest lead being 40-32 with 13:10 to play following two free throws by freshman forward Courtney Irby. The Hawks were still in control at 46-40 with 6:39 to play after senior forward Jeanette Scott connected on an inside field goal in the paint. But Potsdam grinded out the contest, closing out the game on a 12-0 run over the final 5:18. During this stretch, the Bears got a huge three-pointer from senior guard Hannah Kmiecinski and converted on nine free throws, seven of which came from junior guard Bailey Weigel.

The loss drops New Paltz to 2-12, 0-7 in the SUNYAC. Potsdam improves to 4-9, 2-4.

Behind Small, who scored 14 of New Paltz’s first 20 points, the Hawks built a 20-9 lead at the 11:36 mark of the first half. New Paltz was effective in pounding the ball inside, scoring 24 of its 29 first half points in the paint. While the Hawks still managed to score inside in the second half – tallying 14 points – it was Potsdam’s field goal shooting that brought the Bears back into the game and kept them within striking distance in the second half. Potsdam improved its field goal shooting from 28 percent in the first half to 47 percent in the second half.

The final 6:34 of the contest saw Potsdam steal the game’s momentum, getting a big three-pointer from senior forward Jessica Kouzan to draw within 46-43. Once Potsdam tied the game at 50-50 after two free throws from Weigel, the Bears never looked back. Potsdam went 9-for-10 from the free throw line while New Paltz went just 1-for-10 from the field.

Small led the Hawks with 24 points – two better than her previous high of 22 points against Fredonia – and 10 rebounds, tying her season best. Scott tallied a season-best 13 points. Irby had nine rebounds and a career-best six steals.

Kouzan led Potsdam with 18 points and nine rebounds. Weigel added 13 points and eight rebounds.   

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