New Paltz Men's Basketball Falls Behind Early in 86-81 Loss to Potsdam

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Keegan Donovan
Box Score 

POTSDAM, N.Y. – The State University of New York at New Paltz men's basketball team never led in a Friday State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) contest against SUNY Potsdam at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium, and despite a career-high 27 points from sophomore guard Keegan Donovan (Groton, N.Y./Groton), the Hawks fell, 86-81, to the Bears.

New Paltz, which trailed by as many as 19 points, started the second half off on a modest 4-0 run, and despite Potsdam extending its lead to 18 points twice in the second half, New Paltz drew within single digits in the late stages of the contest. The Hawks scored four straight points between 3:02 and 2:23 of the second half to draw within seven points, and they made it a five-point game with 40 seconds left in regulation after Donovan sank three free throws. Potsdam went 1-of-2 from the line on its next trip down the floor, but after New Paltz missed a three-pointer, Potsdam came up with the defensive board and iced the game from there.

New Paltz drops to 6-12 overall and 3-8 in the SUNYAC. The Hawks meet up with SUNY Plattsburgh tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Potsdam rises to 3-14 and 1-9 in conference play. The Bears look for their second conference win tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. against SUNY Oneonta.

The result was never in serious question, as Potsdam used an early 12-0 scoring spree to build a 16-2 advantage. The Hawks clawed back, though, and sophomore forward Alex Perlman (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Lakeland) made it an eight point game (18-10) with 11:36 to go in the first half. The two teams traded points until Potsdam netted nine straight points to forge a 17-point edge. New Paltz relied on five points from Donovan in the final two minutes of the half to enter halftime only down 13 at 44-31.

Junior guard/forward Taylor Sowah (Bronx, N.Y./Miller Place) and Donovan started the second half by combining for four unanswered points, but Potsdam counted with its own 4-0 spurt. New Paltz was unable to put together a momentum-changing run in the second half, and despite coming within single digits late, it was unable to complete the comeback victory.

New Paltz shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor for the game, but it was hurt by 26.7 percent (4-of-15) shooting from long range. The Hawks kept the game interesting by their performance at the line, shooting 84.4 percent (27-of-32). Potsdam shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the field and outgained New Paltz by a 47-35 margin in rebounds.

Donovan paced the Hawks with 27 points off 6-of-18 shooting from the floor and 12-of-12 shooting from the line. Sowah and graduate student guard Nick Taldi (Merrick, N.Y./Bellmore JFK) chipped in with 20 and 13 points, respectively, while Donovan handed out four assists.

Potsdam had four double-digit scorers, and sophomore guard Joe Estramonte and junior guard/forward Zac Adams ignited the attack with 17 points apiece. Senior forward Rob Duquette scored 15 points, while junior guard Rishawd Hendricks netted 11 points coming off the bench. Senior forward Brandon Williams came up with a game-high 11 rebounds.