Sage Women's Basketball Team is Dancing! Gators win Skyline Championship as Pearson Tapped as MOP!

Sage Women's Basketball Team is Dancing! Gators win Skyline Championship as Pearson Tapped as MOP!

SAGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM WINS SKYLINE CHAMPIONSHIP; GATORS EARNS SECOND NCAA BERTH IN PROGRAMS'S HISTORY

Old Westbury, NY- Seeded third in the 2017 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, Sage's women's basketball team captured the league's championship on Saturday afternoon, knocking off top seeded SUNY-Old Westbury in the finals, 72-66. With the win, Sage earned an automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship and will await news of their placement with the selection show on Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Sage improves to 20-8 and brings a six-game win streak into the NCAA's after exacting revenge over the Panthers, who last year beat Sage in their gym in the 2016 Skyline Championship. Old Westbury drops to 23-4 on the season.

Sage's senior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Tournament after exploding for a career-high 27 points in the finals. Pearson shot 8-18 with an impressive six three-pointers in the contest. She added three steals and six rebounds after hitting a cool 60.0% from three-point range and had 14 points in the first half as Sage led 37-26. Already the all-time three-pointer leader at Sage, she has 197 three-pointers and 1,066 career points and is fourth on all-time scoring list. Pearson also has now played in 107 games at Sage, another all-time mark for a women's performer and will add to those numbers when the Gators return to the court in the NCAA tournament this coming week.

Sage jumped out to a 49- 43 lead to open the fourth quarter before the Panthers roared back into game cutting the Gators' lead to just one point 49-48 with 7:59 left to play. Tori Bellings hit a lay-up with 7:59 left to play in regulation to give OW a 50-49 lead. Davida Warren had a jumper seconds later and had the Panthers up 52-49 before rookie Gessica Patregnani (Troy, NY/Lansingburgh) hit a jumper to cut the OW lead to one point. OW struck again with a jumper by Jasmine Robinson at 6:38 and held a 54-51 lead. Pearson tied the action with a three-pointer at 6:19 before the two teams exchanged buckets. The game would be tied for the fifth time at 1:11 as sophomore guard Emily Parslow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) tallied hit the first of two free throws. She made the second to give Sage a 64-63 lead. Pearson added a bucket before Parslow added two more free throws helping the Sage lead grow to 4 points, 67-63 with 0:27 left to play. Sophomore guard Macie Holmes (Amsterdam, NY/Meekeel Christian Academy) was fouled and made the first of two free throws with 0:20 left to play.

With a three-pointer by Robinson at 0:12 left to play, OW cut the lead to two points, 68-66 before Pearson was fouled and made her free throws, giving Sage a 70-66 lead. Holmes returned the line with 0:06 left to play and made her two shots giving Sage the momentum to seal the 72-66 win on Saturday afternoon.

For the game, Sage got 14 points from Parslow who added a personal-best nine assists with six boards in the contest. Holmes finished with eight points, while Patregnani and sophomore Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, NY/Saranac) added 10 points apiece.

Junior forward Genevieve Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls) was held to three points in the contest as she got in foul trouble. She stands sixth all-time in scoring at Sage with 1,025 points, just one shy of tying Elizabeth Pearl (1,026 points, 1987-1991).

The Gators have now won 15 or more games in each of the last four seasons, including a program best 21 wins last season. Only in her third season at Sage, head coach Allison Coleman owns an impressive 59-22 record at the helm of the Gator team.

Sage, which won the 2015-2016 Skyline Conference regular-season title and finished as the tournament runner-up, last year was picked first in the league's pre-season coaches' poll. With the 2017 championship to their credit, Sage has now won two Skyline Conference Championships and a runner-up crown having appeared in the championship game in three of the last four straight years.

 

 
 
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