Albany, NY – The Sage Colleges' men's basketball team hosted the No. 14 ranked Panthers of Purchase College on Thursday night in a Skyline Conference game. The Panthers pulled out a 76-73 win to remain unbeaten as they were almost knocked off by the Gators. Purchase is now 13-0 overall and 7-0 in the Skyline, while Sage drops to 10-6 overall and 6-3 in the league. Purchase has now won 17 regular-season games dating back to February of 2013.
Sage held a 38-37 lead at the break as senior forward Mason Horne's (Albany, NY/La Salle Institute) had 14 points and six rebounds, while junior Kai Deans (Miami, FL/Monsignor Pace) had eight points as the Gators held the Panthers to a 36.7% shooting effort from the floor (11-30).
Purchase's senior forward David Haughton (Greenburgh, NY/Woodlands) had 11 points with five rebounds in the first half of play as the Panthers held a 24-17 edge on the boards.
By game's end, the two teams combined for 50 fouls and three players fouled out of the action. Purchase was led by a double-double by senior guard Andre Nixon (Harlem, NY/Wadleigh) as he had 16 points with 13 rebounds and four assists. He had 11 of his points in the second half to pace the team as there were 10 ties, the last coming at 51-51 (12:06).
Down the stretch, Sage led by six points, 65-59 with 8:05 left to play before the Panthers cut the lead and took over the scoring, 70-69 at 3:08 on a jumper by senior guard Jake Stevens (Brooklyn, NY/Xaverian).
Senior guard Ryan Lobban (Bronx, NY/Mount St. Michael Academy) finished with 15 points, while Haughton finished with 13 points.
Horne added a double-double with his 20 points and tied his personal-best with his third 13 rebound game of the season. He finished the night just five points shy of tying the all-time scoring mark at Sage held by Matt Farbotko (1,244 points). Horne now has 1,239 career points.
Deans and senior Ryan LaBelle (East Berne, NY/Berne-Knox-Westerlo) each added 12 points for the Gators, while Jeff Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia Glenville) and sophomore Melvin Ford (Voorhees, NJ/Easter Regional) each connected for 10 points.
Sage returns to action on January 25 travelling to SUNY-Old Westbury for a 3 p.m. Skyline Conference road game.