Albany, NY— The top seeded Gators of The Sage College's hosted the Knights of fourth seeded Mt. St. Mary College in the semifinals of the 2016 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Championship. The Gators posted the73-55 win to move to the championship game. Sage improves to 21-5 overall, while MSMC drops to 14-13. With the win, Sage will host the Skyline Championship, Saturday at 1 p.m. and will host the Panthers of SUNY-Old Westbury. The appearance in the championship will be the second for the Gators as they won the 2014 Skyline Conference Championship in the program's first Skyline finals appearance.
MSMC opened the action with a 6-0 lead before Sage went on a 9-2 run and led 20-12 at the end of the first quarter. Sage led by as many as 21 points three times in the second quarter and took a 46-27 lead into the locker room. Pacing Sage in the action was the duo of junior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) and sophomore forward Gen Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls). Pearson led all players in the first half with 15 points, while Schoff had 14 points. Pearson had three buckets from three-point range in the first half as the Gators combined for 54.5% shooting from the floor (18-33) in the first half after their slow start.
MSMC's rookie center Kayla Cleare (West Hempstead, NY/West Hempstead) had 13 points at the half and made 7-of-8 from the line as the Knights combined for 90% shooting from the line in the first half (9-10).
By game's end, Schoff finished with 18 points and added a game-high eight rebounds, while Pearson was held scoreless in the second half and finished with 15 points with three assists and two steals. Rookie guard Emily Parslow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) also finished with double-digits as she had 17points with four rebounds after shooting 50.0% on an 8-16 performance. Rookie guard Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannamore, NY/Saranac Lake) added 12 points with six boards for the Gators.
By game's end, Cleare had 20 points, while sophomore forward Jessica Rini (Seaford, NY/Seaford) added 10 points as the only other performer in double-digits. Sage held the Knights scoreless from beyond the arch (0-5).
Sage will face # 3 SUNY-Old Westbury, which topped College of Mt. St. Vincent in the other semifinal game, 82-69. The championship game will take place Saturday, February 27 at 1 p.m. in Kahl Gym.