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Brockport bounces back against Potsdam

By: Dylan O'Loughlin

BROCKPORT, NY --- Today in Brockport's annual "Brockport Back's Pat" game and the fight against Alzheimer's, they played one of their best and got revenge on the Potsdam Bears, defeating them 70-60.

Ana Lee (#24) led Brockport in scoring today with 15 points (Photo Credits: Liv Metz/Brockport Athletics)

Just a few weeks ago, the Brockport Golden Eagles women's basketball team put up one of their worst games of the season against the Potsdam Bears scoring just 50 points. With the win on Friday, they made up for the tough loss.

The first half it was all around scoring for Brockport. Out of the eight players that had played in the first half, six scored. Leading the way was forward Zairea Hannah with eight off the bench, forward Zoe Zutes had six and in her second start of the season guard Kelsey Morgans had six as well. To go along with that, a constant struggle for this Brockport team has been turnovers, where they average about 16 a game, today they only had five at the half and 11 in total on the game.

The first half for Potsdam was much of the opposite. Only four players were able to get on the scoreboard and the leading scorers were forward Jenna Cotter and guard Xy'El Bradford with six. Turnovers were a problem for this team in the first 20 as they had 10 turnovers already, and the Golden Eagles capitalized with 11 points off those turnovers. At the end of the first half, Brockport was up 10, 29-19.

"We need to keep the defensive effort up," Brockport head coach Corrine Jones said. "We keep changing it up and they have one of the conference leading scorers, so I think we are doing a good job of that. We need to get to the free throw line a little more, play on two feet, but we just got to keep doing what we're doing."

The second half was a different story. After only scoring 19 points in one half, Potsdam went into the third quarter and put up 20 points. Carley Hill was the main contributor as she knocked down three shots from beyond the arc to give her nine in the quarter. Even with the great scoring of Hill though, Potsdam could not get the lead any closer than six as these teams kept trading baskets. Everybody was leaving their fingerprints on the game offensively this quarter as five players scored for Brockport and five players scored for Potsdam. With a great scoring quarter by the Bears, Brockport responded and kept a nine-point lead heading into the fourth.

In the fourth, it was the stars of the team. Jakia Howard, the second leading scorer and rebounder in the SUNYAC only had six points at the end of the third, she would go on to score 10 in the fourth and finish with 16 points on the day and 15 rebounds, a great performance against the leading rebounder in the SUNYAC Hannah who had just eight rebounds. Carley Hill also knocked down a huge bucket to cut the lead to five, and gave her 16 on the day as well, but the ladies of Brockport came back even stronger.

It all started with guard Ana Lee. After having six through three quarters, Lee knocked down two triples to help build the lead to 13. But Potsdam would battle back and cut the lead to six again thanks to Howard and Bradford who went on a 7-0 scoring run by themselves. But again, Brockport countered.

"We just have to lock in defensively," Brockport guard Stephanie Jean-Baptiste said. "Take it one play at a time defensively and translate it into offense."

After the late push by Bradford and Howard, the leaders put it away. First it was Lee again, hitting the mid-range jumper to extend the lead and give her 15 on the day. Then after her, it was the fourth leading scorer in the SUNYAC Jean-Baptiste. Jean-Baptiste would tally up seven of her 15 points in the fourth quarter all in the clutch. With the Bears able to claw their way back to a six-point deficit with 1:37 remaining, Jean-Baptiste delivered the dagger, nailing a fade away, heavily contested three off the bank to seal the deal for the Golden Eagles. After recent struggles, Jean-Baptiste showed up when it mattered most in a much-needed win after a tough loss to Fredonia this past Tuesday.

Stephanie Jean-Baptiste had seven of Brockport's last nine points of the game in the final two minutes (Photo Credits: Liv Metz/Brockport Athletics)

"I definitely say the ball movement," Jean-Baptiste said. "Everybody was getting involved, taking the attention off of me and I was able to get open for cuts and open shots."

Brockport now goes back to .500 on the season at 9-9 and 5-6 in SUNYAC play while the Bears fall to 6-10 and 2-8 in SUNYAC play, making a chance at the playoffs even tougher for them. Brockport still sits sixth in the SUNYAC standings in the last playoff spot and they also got some cushion with Fredonia and Plattsburgh picking up losses today. They have to keep this play going tomorrow as Plattsburgh can take that comfort right back as the Golden Eagles host them in the Vlog tomorrow, Saturday January 27, at 2 p.m.

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