The William Smith College basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with a 66-52 victory over Potsdam State in the newly remodeled Bristol Gym on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Herons put three players in double digits paced by sophomore forward Chloe Hayter’s 16 points.
Despite leading by as many as 10 in the first half, William Smith (1-0) found itself locked in a tight battle with the Bears (0-2) late in the second half. Potsdam senior guard Katie Briedis made a jumper with 6:56 to go to tie the game at 48-all. In response, Heron junior guard Sasha Borenstein sank back-to-back 3-pointers to kick-start an 18-4 finishing run. The Bears connected on just 1-of-8 from the floor in the final 5 minutes of the game.
Hayter was 7-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the line. Senior guard Sydni Salvatore and Borenstein both made three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points apiece. The Herons enjoyed a 44-42 edge in rebounds thanks to a game-high 11 boards from sophomore forward Molly Breen and 10 rebounds from junior guard Jacqueline Murphy. Junior guard Erin O’Brien and Salvatore shared game-high honors with six assists apiece.
Briedis was the lone Bear to reach double figures, posting a game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
In the first half, William Smith jumped out to a 21-11 lead, but Potsdam rallied to go ahead 29-28, its only lead of the game. The Herons scored seven of the final 10 first half points to go into the locker room with a 36-31 lead.
The Bears had a slight advantage in shooting percentage (35.6% to 33.8%), but William Smith made twice as many threes (6-3) and made more free throws than Potsdam attempted (14-8).
William Smith will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 20, when the Herons visit the University of Rochester. The tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Potsdam returns to the court at Skidmore on Monday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.