OLD WESTBURY, NY – Three Gators hit double figures, but it wouldn't be enough as Sage fell to Old Westbury 82-77 in their last game of the regular season. With today's win, the Panthers locked in the regular season championship.
Both the Gators and the Panthers went into today's contest seeking the number one spot in the Skyline regular season, guaranteeing them a bye and home court advantage in the Skyline Tournament Semifinals.
The Gators got off to an early lead going up 10-4 in the first five minutes off field goals from four different players. Old Westbury (17-8, 16-4 Skyline) answered with a 4-0 run of their own till a Travis Gill (Brooklyn, NY/Xaverian) jumper put the Gators back up by four.
After two minutes of back and forth action, Andre Robinson (Ford Pierce, FL/Fort Pierce Westwood) scored eight straight points, including a three-point play and a three-point field goal to put Sage (16-9, 14-6 Skyline) up 22-16 with 10:31 left in the first half.
Over the next four minutes, Old Westbury would go on an 11-2 run to go up 27-24 and garner their first lead of the half. Jorrdan McCray (Orlando, FL/Wekiva) tied up the game and snapped the Panther run off a trey from Gill with 5:45 left in the half. Both sides would continue to trade points and enter halftime tied 34-34.
Sage's Rob Mills (Newburgh, NY/Newburgh Free Academy) came out hot in the second half shooting back-to-back three pointers and putting the Gators up 42-36 to tie their largest lead of the game. Old Westbury responded strongly with a 17-0 run over the next four minutes to go up 53-42 with 14:39 left in the contest.
Marcus Patterson (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael Academy) broke the run off an offensive rebound and a layup to cut the lead down to nine.
Over the next ten minutes, Sage would go on a 25-18 run led by junior Brett Ullman's (Sharon Springs, NY/Sharon Springs Central) three treys to cut the lead down to 71-67 with 4:44 left in the game. After layups from Old Westbury's Kaleem Edwards and Patterson, a Robinson layup would bring the Gators back within two with 3:07 left to play.
Old Westbury's Stephon Odle responded with a trey and Lylle Ryals scored a layup to put the Panthers back up by seven with less than two minutes to play. The Gators continued to fight till the end, but the Panthers connected on four of eight free throws to ensure the 77-82 victory.
Robinson's 23 points led the Gators and his eight assists were a game-high. Patterson recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and ten rebounds. Gill's 14 points marked the 17th time the senior has hit double figures this season.
Old Westbury's Jamail Stanley recorded a game-high 28 points and 15 rebounds. The junior also led the game defensively with four blocks and four steals.
With Farmingdale State beating Mount Saint Vincent 85-75, Sage needs Purchase to defeat Yeshiva tonight to ensure the second seed and first round bye. A Yeshiva victory would push the Gators down to the number three seed. Tipoff for that game is 8:30 p.m. at Yeshiva.