New York, NY—The Sage College's women's basketball team has been picked to finish in third place in the race for the 2015-2016 Skyline Conference Championship in the league's pre-season poll released this afternoon. The Skyline Conference's nine head women's basketball coaches picked the Farmingdale State College Rams, led by head coach Chris Mooney's Farmingdale State College Rams to finish in first place as they received six first-place votes en route to the top spot in the tally (62 points).
FSC, which returns senior forward Nailah Cherry's 44 blocks and 43 steals on the defensive end of the court from one year ago, are followed up in the poll by 2014-15 Skyline Conference Championship winner Mount Saint Vincent (two first-place votes, 55 points), who return junior guard Christina Barone's 13.4 points and 7.5 assists per game averages.
Rounding out the first-place-vote recipients is The Sage Colleges, which garnered one top tally en route to a total of 49 points.
The fourth-through-sixth spots were separated by six points, with Old Westbury (39), Mount Saint Mary (37) and 2015-16 Skyline Conference newcomer St. Joseph's-Brooklyn (17-12 overall last season) taking those slots, respectively. Purchase (22) checks in at No. 7 in the ledger, while St. Joseph's-Long Island (19) and Yeshiva (8) round out the poll.
2015-16 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball - Preseason Coaches' Poll
Place. Team (first-place votes), voting points (2014-15 record / Skyline record)
1. Farmingdale State (6), 62 (18-9 / 12-0)
2. Mount Saint Vincent (2), 55 (22-6 / 9-3)
3. Sage (1), 49 (18-8 / 9-3)
4. Old Westbury, 39 (11-14 / 4-8)
5. Mount Saint Mary, 37 (9-17 / 4-8)
6. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn, 33 (17-12 overall)
7. Purchase, 22 (4-10 / 1-11)
8. St. Joseph's-Long Island, 19 (6-18 / 3-9)
9. Yeshiva, 8 (3-18 overall)
Sage, which is led by second year head coach Allison Coleman went 18-8 a year ago and appeared in the Skyline Conference Tournament and the 2015 ECAC Division III Metro Semifinals. The Gators broke the record for most wins a season (18), while recording a 12-game win streak as well in 2014-2015.
Leading the Gators this season will be tri-captains junior Krystyn Knockwood (Troy, NY/Troy), junior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central), and sophomore Genevieve Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls).
As a rookie, Schoff earned acclaim as the 2015 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year. The selection of a Gator as the league's top rookie marks the second straight year that Sage has had the honoree after Pearson earned the award in 2014. Schoff connected for an 8.3 ppg average on the year in 26 appearances. She added a 5.7 rpg average with 19 blocked shots. Twice she has been the team's high scorer, while leading the Gators in rebounding four times.
Pearson capped the 2014-2015 year with a 7.3 ppg average in 25 games played, while adding a 3.3 rpg average as well with 30 steals and 31 assists. She already has 69 career three-pointers and is No. 9 on the Sage career list.
As a sophomore, Knockwood came on strong to finish her second year as a Gator. She led the team in rebounding in the loss to Brooklyn in the ECAC semifinals with her 13 rebounds. She played in 25 games with a 5.3 ppg and 4.8 rpg average. She connected for 24 blocked shots and is already No. 8 in career blocked shots with 35.
Sage opens the 2015-2016 season travelling to the Keene State College Tip-Off Tournament and will face Mt. Ida on opening night at 5 p.m. on November 13. The Gators will hold their home opener on Tuesday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m. as Western Connecticut State University visits Kahl Gym.