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Bears Return To SUNYAC Semi-Finals Vs Oneonta

POTSDAM, N.Y.-The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (19-6, 14-4 SUNYAC) is back in the SUNYAC Semifinals for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The second-seeded Bears square off with three seed SUNY Oneonta (19-7, 14-4) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the College at Brockport. Under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Jim Bechtel and assistants Kevin Baksh '18 and Josh Tocays, Potsdam is making its second straight postseason appearance. The Bears enter the playoffs averaging 81.3 points-per-game and won 19 games for the first time in 15 years. Offensively, Potsdam and the SUNYAC are led by sophomore forward Isaiah Brown (Westside Queens, N.Y./NIA Prep). The four-time conference player of the week is averaging 24.9 ppg. Senior captain Jayquan Thomas is scoring a career-high 16.3 ppg. Fellow senior captain Danny Delsol-Lowry (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) is also averaging a personal best 12.6 ppg. The two captains reached 1,000 points for their careers a day apart this winter. Freshman center Tyrese Baptiste (Brooklyn, N.Y./Eagle Academy II) has also been a dominant force at both ends of the court, averaging 11.8 ppg. and leading the Bears and ranking second in the SUNYAC with 10.8 rebounds-per-game. Potsdam's defense, anchored by senior captain Aaron Armstrong (Lisbon, N.Y./Madrid-Waddington), Baptiste, Thomas and Delsol-Lowry, is allowing 74.4 ppg. Baptiste has 14 double-doubles in 25 games. Freshman forward Ahamadou Sillah (Bronx, N.Y./Kip NYC College Prep) and junior center Kristoff Saunders (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) give Potsdam more size at both ends as well. Junior guards Colby Simpson (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) and Nana Annorh (LeFrak City, N.Y./Newton) and junior forward Dante Viskovich (Massena, N.Y./Massena) add more speed and scoring from the bench. Sophomore Isaiah Joseph (Harlem, N.Y./Izquierdo Health and Science) has emerged as a long-distance scoring threat as well. The Red Dragons, who advanced with an 81-54 win over six seed Geneseo last night, are scoring 82.31 ppg. and giving up 71.46. Kevin Mackin is Oneonta's stop scorer at 17.6 ppg. Andres Rivera and Harrison Deegan are each averaging 13.4. Dylan Trombley is scoring 11.3 per game and Joseph Bull has chipped in 10.9. The teams split their two meetings this season. On December 7, in Oneonta, Ian Schultz hit a jumper with four seconds left to give the Red Dragons a 62-60 win. Bull led Oneonta with 18 points and Schultz finished with 12. Joseph scored 20 to lead the Bears, while Delsol-Lowry had 15 and Baptiste recorded the double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Just last Friday in the battle for second place, the Bears never trailed and Baptiste exploded for 28 points and 15 rebounds in a 91-83 victory. Brown scored 27 points and grabbed nine boards. Mackin paced Oneonta with 23 points and Rivera scored 18. The contest's victor will battle the winner of top seed Brockport and fourth-seeded Oswego State at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the championship game. The Bears men's basketball program has won 12 SUNYAC Championships. The first coming in 1962-63 and the most recent in 2004-05. Tickets for the weekend's games are $5 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12. Children four and under, and students from all SUNYAC schools (with ID), will be admitted free. Fans that can't attend can follow all the action here: Live Video: Live Stats:

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