Defense Propels Oswego State To 64-50 Playoff Win Over Potsdam

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Conor Monaghan scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half to help the No. 24-ranked Oswego State men’s basketball team defeat visiting Potsdam, 64-50, in a SUNYAC quarterfinal game on Tuesday night in front of a strong crowd at Max Ziel Gymnasium. The Laker defense also help generate offense for the team, as 18 Bear turnovers resulted in 22 Oswego State points.

The top-seeded Lakers, who are 23-3 overall and riding a 16-game winning streak, will host No. 4-seed Brockport at 8 p.m. on Friday at Max Ziel Gymnasium. The 23 wins posted by Oswego State are the second-most in a single-season in program history. Potsdam wrapped up its season at 8-18 overall.

With the score knotted at 7-7 and over 14 minutes remaining in the first half, Oswego State went on a 17-3 run during the next minutes. The Bears put together a 12-3 spurt of their own to cut the deficit to five points at 27-22 with 21 seconds left in the stanza. However, Ryan Sheridan’s runner just beat the buzzer to give Oswego State a 29-22 lead at halftime.

Potsdam’s Tony Efese drained a three-pointer early in the second half to bring the Bears to within six points until Hayden Ward sank a trey to fuel a 14-2 run that allowed the Lakers to build a 47-29 with 10:04 to play. Monaghan caught on fire during the stretch as he scored nine points on a three-point play and a pair of three-pointers from the left wing, as the Bears never pulled any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

In addition to Monaghan’s 15 points, Ward posted 12 points and 13 boards, including five on the offensive glass. Chad Burridge also chipped in 13 points for Oswego State. Potsdam’s Curtis Pierce led all scorers with 18 points, while teammate Tony Efese finished with 11.

The Bears out-rebounded the Lakers by a margin of 36-28, but the home team shot 42.6 percent (20-of-47) from the field compared to 38.5 percent (20-of-52) for Potsdam.

Oswego State will host the remainder of the SUNYAC Playoffs with semifinal games on Friday when No. 2-Buffalo State faces No. 3-Plattsburgh at 6 p.m. and No. 1-Oswego State faces No. 4-Brockport. The championship game will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for students with ID and may be purchased at the Campus Center Box Office, by calling 315-312-3073, or online at The first 200 Oswego State students will receive “Max OUT Ziel” shirts.