SAGE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM ADVANCES TO TITLE GAME WITH 84-77 WIN OVER DEFENDING CHAMPIONS, SUNY-OLD WESTBURY ON RECORD-SETTING NIGHT
Albany, NY—After winning the 2016-2017 Skyline Conference North Division regular-season title, Sage's men's basketball team earned the No. 2 seed in the league tournament. Sage hosted a semifinal match-up with the No. 3 seeded Panthers of SUNY-Old Westbury and the league's defending tournament champions on Thursday night. In a record-setting night, Sage advanced to the title game after beating the Panthers, 84-77. With the win, their sixth straight Sage brings a record of 17-9 into the finals, while SUNY-Old Westbury's title run ends with the Panthers standing at 18-9. Sage will meet the Rams of Farmingdale State College on Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m. at FSC. The Rams triumphed in the other semifinal match-up, downing Purchase 87-72 on Thursday.
The game featured a pair of record-setting efforts as Sage's senior forward Marcus Patterson (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael Academy) became the third Gator men's player to record his 1,000th career point. Patterson finished the night with 15 points, giving him 1,001 career points. He is third on the all-time scoring list, while adding 457 points on the year, which ranks No. 2 all-time in a campaign.
Senior forward Rob Mills (Newburgh, NY/Newburgh Free Academy) broke Sage's single-game scoring record in the contest. He finished with a personal-best 36 points after collecting 23 first-half points on an 8-11 shooting stand. By game's end, Mills led every player with 36 points after burying four three-pointers and making 11-of-18 field goals. He surpassed the single-game mark set by All-America Kai Deans (33 points, vs. Mt. St. Vincent, 1/31/2015) to pen his name into the record books.
Junior guard Jordan Devaughn (Jacksonville, FL/Flora McDonald Academy) added nine points with three assists and two steals, while junior center Thiago Conceicao (El Portal, FL/Westwood Christian) added a game-best 14 rebounds with 11 defensive boards and four blocked shots. Conceicao leads the team this season with his 50 blocked shots which and is currently third on the Gator single-season record book.
Old Westbury's junior guard Preston Powell (Farmingville, NY/Sachem East) finished with 23 points for the Panthers and led the game with seven made three-point baskets. He added four steals and shot a red-hot 7-for-9 from three point range. Senior forward Lylle Ryals (Mohenag Lake, NY/Walter Panas) added 19 points with nine rebounds, while senior guard Jamal Stanley (Syracuse, NY/Christopher Colombus) had a double-double on 18 points with 12 rebound, three steals and a blocked shot.
After leading by as many as 19 points in the second half, (68-49, 8:14), the Gators let the Panthers cut the gap to five (76-71, 3:12). Sage held on to finish the game and advance to the program's second title game appearance after winning the title in 2015.