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SUNY Potsdam weekly sports recap

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POTSDAM - The SUNY Potsdam basketball teams concluded their seasons over the weekend and both hockey teams were able to extend their seasons with playoff berths.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The women’s basketball team wrapped up their season against Oswego State and SUNY Cortland over the weekend. On Friday, Potsdam fell to the Lakers, 70-47. Senior guard Katy Briedis (Canton, N.Y.) finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

On Saturday, the Bears hosted the Red Dragons for Senior Day in Welsh Gymnasium. Potsdam recognized Briedis and senior forward Adedoyin Akingba (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for their contributions to the program. The seniors battle hard in their final game and trailed Cortland 29-27 at halftime. However, the Red Dragons would hold off the Bears to win 67-55. Briedis tallied another 16-point performance and Akingba recorded her first double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

The men’s basketball team hosted Oswego State and SUNY Cortland to conclude the 2012-13 campaign. The Lakers defeated the Bears 76-65 on Friday. Senior forward Curtis Pierce (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished with 18 points.

Potsdam then hosted the Red Dragons for the final game of the season. The Bears would hold the 33-32 advantage at the half. However, the Red Dragons used a strong second half to surge past Potsdam and earn the 69-56 decision. Senior guard Mark Lake, Jr. (Harlem, N.Y.) led the Bears with 16 points and six rebounds. Pierce concludes his career tied for 6th place on the all-time scoring list with 1,447 points and claims sole possession of the 6th spot on the all-time rebounding list with 725 boards.

MEN’S HOCKEY

The men’s hockey team split 1-1 over the weekend and secured a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs. The Bears hosted Oswego State on Friday and SUNY Cortland on Saturday. The Lakers would shut out Potsdam in a 10-0 victory in Massena Arena. Yet, the Bears erased the tough defeat to go on to defeat the Red Dragons 2-1 on Senior Night. Potsdam recognized seniors Brett Waters (Uxbridge, Ontario) and Matt Viola (Toronto, Ontario) for their dedication to the hockey program. The Bears would find the net first as sophomore forward Ryan Miller (Didsbury, Alberta) grabbed a rebound and buried the puck.

Cortland answered with a short-handed goal in the second period to notch the game at 1-1 after two periods of play. Waters stepped up big in he third period with a goal to give Potsdam the 2-1 lead and the eventual win to send the Bears to the playoffs. Freshman goalie Austin Keiser (Dunwoody, Ga.) made 29 saves in the victory.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

The women’s hockey team swept the visiting Buffalo State Bengals this past weekend to earn the fifth seed in ECAC West playoffs. On Saturday, The Lady Bears held off a Buffalo State charge to win 4-3. Freshman forward Sally Mooney (New Albany, Ohio) scored the game-winning goal 8:21 into the second period to secure the decision. Junior forward Amanda Lucky (Kanata, Ontario) recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Bears with two points.

On Sunday, Potsdam faced off with the Bengals for Senior Day and a chance to make the ECAC West playoffs. The Bears noted the services of seniors Jen Conophy (Glenmont, N.Y.), Brittany Westlake (Georgetown, Ontario), Katie Komsa (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), and Nadine Cunningham (Bow, N.H.). Conophy and freshman forward Sarah Nelson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) came through with clutch performances. Conophy shone the brightest on Senior Day, stopping all 22 shots she faced for her second career shutout.

Nelson scored the only goal the Bears needed for the win.

PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Freshman Austin Keiser is the Bears’ male performer of the week. Keiser stopped 29 of 30 shots in the Bears’ playoff-clinching 2-1 victory over Cortland on Saturday night. The Freshman goaltender was at his best when Potsdam needed him most, stopping 13 shots in the third period alone.

Senior Jen Conophy is the Bears’ female performer of the week. With the Bears needing two victories to reach the ECAC West Playoffs for the second year in a row, Conophy gave Potsdam 80 shutout minutes this weekend. On Saturday against Buffalo State, the senior came off the bench in the third period to slam the door on the Bengals with seven saves in a 4-3 victory.

On Sunday, Conophy got the start and stopped all 22 shots she faced in the postseason-clinching 1-0 shutout of Buffalo State. The victory on Senior Day, was the second shutout of the goaltender’s career and her third win of the season. She is Potsdam’s all-time wins leader with 20 victories.

UPCOMING GAMES

The women’s hockey team leapfrogs both Cortland and Neumann into the fifth playoff spot. The Bears will travel to fourth-seeded Utica College next Saturday for the first round of the ECAC West Playoffs. Potsdam tied Utica 1-1 on the road on Jan. 12, before falling 2-0 at Cheel on Jan.13. The Bears have now reached the playoffs in three of their first five varsity seasons.

The men’s hockey team finishes the season as the sixth seed in the SUNYAC playoffs and will travel to third seeded Geneseo for the first round on Wednesday night. The faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The swimming and diving teams return to the pool on Wednesday for the SUNYAC Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. at Erie Community College.

The equestrian team resumes the second half of their season on Sunday, February 24, at St. Lawrence University.

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