Albany, NY— The Sage Colleges' men's basketball team hosted Alfred University on Friday evening in an Empire 8 match-up. The Gators came back from being down by as many 13 points in the second half and knocked off the Saxons, 81-74. Sage is now 6-10 overall and 2-5 in the league. Alfred drops to 10-4 overall and 3-2 in the Empire 8.
Alfred led 47-41 at the half and never saw the action tied after the opening minutes of play. Sage was down by 13, 54-41 with 17:10 left in the second half but did not give up. The Gators cut it to eight points before Alfred regained momentum and went up by 11 again at 14:48. Paced by the efforts of junior Darius Denmark (Orlando, FL/Evans) and rookie guard Jalon Borders (Bartow, FL/Bartow) Sage chipped away at the Saxons' lead. Borders hit a jumper at 11:12 and Denmark buried a three-pointer to cut the lead to just three, Alfred 61-58 at 10:35.
Sage's sophomore Anthony Mitchell (Bronx, NY/Salesian) hit a layup and another layup by Borders at 8:35 cut the score to just three (65-62). Junior guard Isaiah Scurry (Albany, NY/Albany) made a three-pointer at 6:58 to tie the game at 65-65.
Alfred's senior guard Dom LeMorta (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) hit back to back free throws followed by a pair of free throws by rookie forward Brewster Marshall (Horseheads, NY/Horseheads) to give the Saxons a 71-67 lead.
Mitchell hit a jumper to cut the lead to two before Scurry hit a three to give Sage their first lead of the second half, 72-71 at 2:02. Senior forward Chris Kidd (Troy, NY/Beacon) added back to back baskets on a lay-up and a three-pointer to give the Gators a 77-71 lead with 0:35 left to play.
Down the stretch, Sage made some clutch free throws to keep the game out of reach for Alfred as went 4-4 in the final 17 seconds of play.
Kidd finished with a double-double on 17 points with 12 rebounds, while Scurry finished with 18 points off the bench and was 3-6 from three-point range. Denmark added 10 points, all in the second half to lift Sage to the key league victory.
Alfred's LeMorta led the game with his 24 points and was 8-16 from the floor and 4-9 from three-point range. Junior guard Sam Dagon (Hornell, NY/Hornell) added 14 points, while Marshall and rookie forward Elliot Bowen (Salamanca, NY/Ellicottville) had 10 points each.
Sage is back in action on Saturday, January 19 hosting Houghton College in an Empire 8 contest at 2 p.m. Alfred University returns to play on Saturday playing at Stevens Institute of Technology in a 2 p.m. road contest.