Adams, MA – The Sage Colleges' men's basketball team travelled to MCLA to face the Trailblazers in a non-conference match-up on Thursday evening. MCLA's team rallied from a second half deficit and pulled away late in an 89-80 over the Sage Gators in the Amsler Campus Center Gym. Tyriq Rochester notched a season best 20 points, including two highlight reel dunks, to lead the Trailblazers. MCLA improves to 4-11 on the season while Sage falls to 8-5. The win snapped a 9 game slide for the Trailblazers.
After the game was tied at halftime, MCLA scored the first six points of the second stanza to grab a 46-40 lead. A few minutes later with the score at 53-46 in favor of the hosts, Sage used a 20-5 run to turn the tables and lead 68-60 with 11:33 remaining.
Rochester ignited the Trailblazers with a follow up slam off an Anthony Barbosa miss. The dunk started the Trailblazers on a 15-0 run. Rochester had eight points in the decisive spurt. MCLA would go on to lead by as many as nine points (82-73) before Sage mounted a final rally.
Six straight Gator points pulled them within three forcing an MCLA timeout. Trailblazer Paul Maurice scored on a drive to the basket with 1:25 left to push the lead to five at 84-79. On the ensuing possession, Paul Maurice collected a steal and started a two on one break in which he lobbed a perfect pass to Rochester who slammed it home with 29 seconds left to give MCLA an insurmountable 86-79 advantage. Sage was only able to connect on a free throw the rest of the way.
In the opening half, Sage opened up an 11 point lead on two different occasions, only to see the Trailblazers rally each time. With the score 25-14 in favor of the Gators, MCLA went on a 10-2 run to get within three at 27-24. Sage would extend back out to a six point lead, only to see MCLA even it up at halftime at 40-40.
Rochester was 9-11 from the floor and grabbed 5 rebounds to lead the Trailblazers. Ruben DelRosario collected 16 points, 13 of which came in the opening half. He added 5 assists. Maurice finished with 10 points. Todd Hunt had only 5 points, but did collect 10 rebounds. MCLA shot 51% from the floor.
Sage was led by senior forward Mason Horne's (Albany, NY/La Salle Institute) 18 points. He completed the double-double by snatching 13 rebounds. Graduate performer Jeff Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia Glenville) finished with 15 points and 4 assists. Senior Ryan LaBelle (East Berne, NY/Berne-Knox-Westerlo) came off the bench to record 15 points as well. Sage knocked down 10 three pointers in the loss.
Horne now has 1,186 points and is moving ever closer to attaching his name to Sage's all-time socring mark currently held by Matt Farbotko with his 1,244 points.
Sage will return to action on January 18 travelling to Maritime College for a Skyline Conference match-up commencing at 2 p.m.