Armstrong Helps Bears To 4th Straight Win
POTSDAM, N.Y. -The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (17-4, 12-2 SUNYAC) tallied their fourth straight win as they defeated the Fredonia Blue Devils (7-14, 3-11 SUNYAC) 76-71 on Saturday evening. Senior guard Jayquan Thomas (Hollis, N.Y./Richmond Hill) notched 25 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Bears. Junior guard Dydy Bryan (Brooklyn, N.Y./Boys & Girls) led Fredonia with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Co-Captain and Madrid-Waddington product Aaron Armstrong completed his rock solid play on both ends of the court scoring five points with seven rebounds. The Bears came out hot, scoring the first seven points of the evening. Freshman center Tyrese Baptiste's (Brooklyn, N.Y./Eagle Academy II) post-move bucket opened up the scoring. Thomas followed it with a transition layup through traffic and then hit a catch-and-shoot three from the top of the key.
After the Bears started the game on a 9-1 run, the Blue Devils got their first field goal with a corner three from senior guard Tyler Roberts (Rochester, N.Y./Wheatland-Chili) at 16:44. The teams battled back and forth for much of the half with Potsdam holding a 21-20 advantage with six minutes left. At that poin,t a fast break layup by Thomas ignited an 8-0 run, capped off by junior guard Nana Annorh's (Lefrak City, N.Y./Newtown) corner three. Another three from Annorh at 3:26 gave the Bears their largest lead at 11.
The game was a defensive struggle up until the final minute when Thomas and senior forward Moussa Samassa (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) traded baskets. Potsdam led 37-28 at halftime. Delsol-Lowry opened up the second half with a layup through contact. The Blue Devils brought themselves within striking distance, using a 10-2 run to make it a two-point game (42-40) at 12:45. Senior guard De'Quan Smith (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) finished the run with a reverse layup. Sophomore forward Isaiah Brown (Westside Queens, N.Y./Nia Prep) halted the run with a basket plus the foul shot at 12:35.
As the teams battled throughout the half, a floater by Bryan brought the visitors within one with 8:06 left. With another shot inside, Bryan gave Fredonia their first lead of the evening (54-53) at 6:45. The Bears quickly answered as Brown sank two shots at the line, followed by a left corner three from Delsol-Lowry. Potsdam's aggressiveness in the paint awarded them free throws down the stretch and they eventually took a 10-point lead at 3:10 after a three from Thomas. As the Blue Devils nearly shot their way back in the game with two threes late, free throws helped Potsdam claim the victory. Brown had 13 points and six rebounds for Potsdam. Delsol-Lowry added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Baptiste chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds. Samassa and Smith had 13 points each for Fredonia. Potsdam shot 40.7-percent, while Fredonia shot 41.3-percent. The Bears are back on the road Friday as they take on the the Cortland Red Dragons at 7:30 p.m.