Cortland Women Ride Strong First Half to 62-52 Win at Potsdam

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POTSDAM, N.Y. – Cortland raced out to a 20-point lead midway through the second quarter and fought off a second-half comeback bid by host Potsdam to defeat the Bears, 62-52, in SUNYAC action.
Cortland (12-10, 8-7 SUNYAC) maintains its fourth-place spot in the league standings with three games remaining. Fredonia is in fifth at 8-9, Plattsburgh is sixth (7-9) and Brockport is seventh (6-9). The top six teams will qualify for the SUNYAC postseason tournament.
Justine Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) led three Cortland double-figure scorers with 16 points and also had three assists, two steals and a team-high seven rebounds. Shannon McGuire (West Babylon) scored 12 points and led the Red Dragons with five assists and Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and had a team-best three steals.
Naya Walters led Potsdam (8-14, 5-11 SUNYAC) with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. Dyamon Hunter made 3-of-4 3-pointers and ended with 14 points and Abbey Smith contributed nine points and three assists.
Cortland, which never trailed, started the game on a 9-0 run and led 21-10 after one quarter. Shana Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) scored six of her seven points in the first 6:10 of the second period as the Red Dragons' lead grew to 33-13, and Cortland held a 34-18 lead at halftime.
Potsdam cut its deficit to single digits in the first four-plus minutes of the third quarter and eventually got to within four at 41-37 on a Walters layup with 1:09 left in the stanza. Cortland, however, scored the last four points of the quarter on a Katie Carey (Greene) free throw and a Vitucci 3-pointer to take a 45-37 lead.
Over the first 5:20 of the fourth Cortland built its lead to 12 at 54-42, but Potsdam got it back to seven at 55-48 with 1:13 remaining on a Walters bucket. (Justine) Crespo and Vitucci each made two foul shots over the next 20 seconds to re-establish a double-figure margin and help secure the victory.
Potsdam finished with one more field goal than Cortland, and the Red Dragons made only four 3-pointers in 20 attempts, but Cortland did outscore the Bears on the foul line, 20-6.
Cortland will play its final regular-season home game on Tuesday versus SUNYAC leader New Paltz. The Red Dragons will hold their Senior Night at 5 p.m., a half hour before the scheduled start time of 5:30 p.m.