Albany, NY –The Sage College's men's basketball team hosted the Knights of Mt. St. Mary College on Wednesday night in Kahl Gym in a Skyline Conference match-up. Sage trailed 46-24 at the break and came back to record an 86-80 win in overtime as junior forward Melvin Ford (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional) poured in a career-high 27 points off the bench to lift the Gators to the win. With the victory, Sage improves to 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the league, while MSMC drops to 4-13 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
MSMC held a 46-24 lead at the break as they held Sage to a 34.6% field goal percentage (9-26), while shooting 53.1% from the floor (17-32), but even more impressively, 62.5% from three-point range (5-8) and a perfect 7-7 from the line. Sophomore guard Connor Nicholson (Staten Island, NY/Monsignor Farrell) led t's Ford was the first half leader for the Gators with seven points.
Sage the game for the first time with just 1:35 left to play as senior forward Kai Deans (Miami, FL/Monsignor Donovan) hit the second of two free throws, tying the action at 70-70. Junior Andre Robinson (Fort Pierce, FL/Fort Pierce Westwood) gave the Gators their first lead of the night at 0:52 after he hauled in a defensive rebound and added a layup (Sage 72-70). Robinson added a layup at 0:35 and was fouled and gave Sage a 73-70 lead. MSMC's rookie guard Gerard Nocera (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel) hit a clutch three-pointer with 21 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 73-73. Robinson had a three-point attempt at the buzzer that missed, sending the game to overtime.
Sage opened on a 4-0 run with 4:28 left, before MSMC pulled within one, down 78-77 (2:48) as Nocera added a layup. Down the stretch Sage managed to hit several clutch free throws as senior Troy Nwanna (Washington, DC/Mercerburg Academy) made four straight shots from the charity stripe, preserving Sage's undefeated home streak this year as the Gators are 6-0 in Kahl Gym.
Ford added 19 points in the second half with nine boards and by game's end had racked up a career-high 27 points, bettering his previous best of 22 points. He added high rebounding honors as well with 12 boards and had two blocks for the Gators. Deans had 15 points, while sophomore Marcus Patterson (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael Academy) added 12 points.
MSMC's Nicholoson finished with 20 points and shot 6-12 from the floor and 6-6 from the line with four assists and three steals. Nocera added 18 points, while sophomore Alex Smith (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) added 15 points. The Knights shot 94.1% from the line for the game (16-17).
Sage returns to action on Jan. 31 hosting The College of Mt. St. Vincent at 3 p.m. in a Skyline Conference contest in Kahl Gym. The Day is Secret Swamp Day and all fans are encouraged to participate in the contests and dress as their favorite super hero or villain. Prizes will be awarded and several contests will be held in conjunction with the day.