New Paltz Upsets Second Seeded Potsdam
POTSDAM, N.Y. -The SUNY New Paltz Hawks (7-18, 3-15 SUNYAC) escaped the SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (19-6, 14-4 SUNYAC) on Saturday afternoon. In a game of runs, the visitors made their free throws down the stretch to earn the 100-96 win. Senior forward Tristian Wisseman (Shelter Island, N.Y./Shelter Island) led the Hawks with 26 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Isaiah Brown (Westside Queens, N.Y./Nia Prep) ended the night with 27 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Senior center Kristoff Saunders (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) started the scoring after an offensive tip-in. Senior center Nick Arthur (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) got New Paltz on the scoreboard as he made a layup on the next possession. After the teams battled back and forth, the Hawks took a 12-point lead after back-to-back layups by sophomore forward Isaiah Bien-Aise (Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) and sophomore guard Brandon Scott (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) at 10:32. At the 8:41 mark, the Hawks embarked on a 15-6 run, finished by Scott.
Senior guard Danny Delsol-Lowry (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) halted the run, drilling a three from the corner. The shot helped the Bears ignite a 13-2 run, capped off by an alley-oop dunk from senior guard Aaron Armstrong (Lisbon, N.Y./Madrid-Waddington) to Brown in transition. For New Paltz, Scott was aggressive inside, getting to the free-throw line and sinking four of four shots from the stripe to close the quarter. New Paltz led Potsdam 53-44 at halftime. Freshman center Tyrese Baptiste (Brooklyn, N.Y./Eagle Academy II) opened the second half of play with a tip-in. The Bears gave themselves momentum early in the second half, using a 21-8 run to grab their first lead since 19:28 of the first. Brown drilled a three at the 13:03 mark to grab the lead at 65-62 and Delsol-Lowry made a three of his own on the next possession. The Bears went up 10 after a pull up jumper from Brown at 11:39.
New Paltz fought themselves back into the game, eventually tying the game at 76 following a 14-4 run. The Hawks kept their foot on the pedal, getting to the free throw line and finishing inside. New Paltz eventually took an eight-point lead with 5:54 remaining. For the Bears, they retaliated as senior guard Jayquan Thomas (Hollis, N.Y./Richmond Hill) and Baptiste finished through traffic. At the 3:47 mark, Baptiste completed a three-point play as he was fouled, bringing the Bears within a point. Both teams remained aggressive inside the paint, getting to the free throw line, and finishing inside.
A free throw from Thomas tied the game at 91, but Wisseman made a three from the top of the key with 43 seconds left. After Armstrong followed it up with a layup for the Bears, the Hawks called a timeout. Out of the break, Brown helped Potsdam regained the lead as the euro-stepped to the basket. Down 95-94, New Paltz drew a foul on the other end, and junior guard Jake Passaretti (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) made both free throws at the line.
The Bears were forced to foul for the last five seconds, and four more free throws from Passaretti helped the Hawks seal the victory. For the Hawks, Scott and Passaretti scored 15 and 13 points each. Freshman guard RJ Meyers-Turner (Uniondale, N.Y./Uniondale) added 11 points. Delsol-Lowry had 19 points for the Bears, while Thomas had 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Baptiste added 10 points and five rebounds. New Paltz shot 59 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from behind the arc, while Potsdam shot 47.4 percent from the field, and 31.6 percent from deep. Prior to the contest, the Bears honored seniors Armstrong, Delsol-Lowry, Saunders and Thomas for their careers on Senior Day. As the two seed in the SUNYAC Tournament, Potsdam gets a bye to the semifinals at Brockport next Friday.
The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball class of 2020 center left to right: Danny Delsol-Lowry, Jayquan Thomas, Kristoff Saunders and Aaron Armstrong are pictured below.