Albany, NY---The Sage Colleges men's basketball program opened a new era on Sunday when they entered into the world of the NCAA Division III ranks. Sage would host RPI in the program's first NCAA Division III contest after not fielding a team since the 2002-2003 season when they competed in the world of the National Junior College Association as the former Sage Junior College at Albany. RPI spoiled the Gators' debut on Sunday as they tallied an 82-62 win in the Kahl Campus Center. The Engineers would improve to 1-0 on the young campaign after a 15-13 record last season. Sage drops to 0-1.
RPI would take a 37-29 lead into the locker room as junior guard Ike Rodriguez (San Antonio, TX/McCollum) added eight points in the first half after connecting on all three field goal attempts and adding a pair of treys.
RPI would own a 11-6 lead at 16:20 before Sage would tie the game for the first time at 13:03 on a jumper from freshman forward Mason Horne (Albany, NY/LaSalle Institute). Sage would take their first lead at 10:19 as freshman forward Alex King (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga Springs) hit a pair of free throws. RPI would pull away after the fifth tie of the game at 21-21 (6:41) and own the lead at the half.
Leading the way for the Engineers was senior forward Ricky Philatre (Randolph, MA/Randolph) as the team captain finished with a double-double on 16 points and 16 rebounds. He added 11 defensive boards and shot 60% from the floor (6-10) en route to the season-opening win.
He was joined in double-digit scoring figures by senior forward Jeremy Colon (Manchester, NH/West) with 11 points, while senior forward Tim Rupp (Staten Island, NY/Curtis) added ten points with seven rebounds. Rupp handed out five assists and added two steals to his season opening effort.
Sage's Alex King would finish with a team-high 13 points while making five steals in his collegiate debut. He was joined in double-digit scoring by freshman guard Mervin Springer (Copiague, NY/Copiague) who netted 11 points off the bench and finished with a team-high seven boards.
Sage returns to action on November 17 in the program's first doubleheader as the men and women will both host Southern Vermont College in a 6 and 8 p.m. doubleheader in the Kahl Campus Center.
RPI will host Cooper Union on November 20 in a 6 p.m. contest at the ECAV.