New York, NY –The Sage Colleges' women's basketball team has been selected to finish first in the Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Coaches' pre-season poll for the 2016-2017 season. The Gators return nine letterwinners from last season's team that won the league's regular-season championship and took home the Skyline Conference Runner-up trophy.
Sage is led by head coach Allison Coleman, who enters her third season at the helm of the program and boasts a 39-14 career record. A year ago, her Gators posted a record-setting season that included a 21-6 overall record with a 15-1 showing in the Skyline Conference. After a record setting 21 win season, the Gators finished the 2015-2016 year ranked 46th in win percentage with a 77.6% mark, while standing No. 3 in in three-point field goal percentage defense (22.7%). The team was also No. 22 in in field goal percentage defense (32.6%), while standing No. 33 in rebounds per game average (45.51). Sage was 39th in total rebounds with 1,226 and 43rd in scoring defense (54.4ppg).
Among the top players returning this season is senior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central), who is Sage's all-time career three-point leader with 135 treys in just three seasons. Pearson also broke the program's single-season three-point mark with 66. She finished her junior season ranked No. 17 in Division III in three pointers attempted, while ranking No. 46 in three pointers made. She averaged 2.44 three-pointers per game and stood No. 63 nationally, while also ranking in both steals (59) and steals per game average, as well as field goals attempted.
Sage's junior forward Gen Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls) finished her sophomore season with a school-record 132 free throws and was ranked No. 8 in free throws made, No. 12 in free throws attempted (196), while also ranking No. 52 in offensive rebounds with 4.0 per game. All told, she was ranked 10 different categories on the 2015-2016 season. She capped the year with a selection as the 2015-2016 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year after also earning a first team selection, which came on the heels of her earning Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year honors in 2014-2015.
Schoff finished last season with a team-leading 419 points which is the third highest point total for a Gator, She also penned her name into the single-season record book with 149 made free throws on 196 attempts. Schoff, a First Team All-Skyline pick boasts 636 points in just two season at Sage, while Pearson now has 759 points and is No. 10 all-time at Sage.
Also among the nationally ranked performers that return to the lineup this year are sophomore guards Emily Parslow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) and Macie Holmes (Amsterdam, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy). Parslow added Skyline Co-Rookie of the Year honors to her resume after she averaged 10.2 ppg in 27 starts. The rookie guard also buried 47 three-pointers and had a team-leading 91 assists. She was ranked nationally in four different categories including assists, minutes played, three-point field goals made and attempted.
Holmes played in all 27 games with 10 starts and had 48 three-point baskets, while scoring 7.8 ppg. She finished the season with 44 assists and 29 steals and was ranked nationally with her three-point baskets made.
The Gators open the upcoming season November 15 when they visit Western Connecticut State University for a non-conference match-up with the Colonials. Sage will also participate in the Plattsburgh State University Tip-Off Tournament meeting Southern Maine in the opening round. The month of November rounds out with Sage visiting Capital Region foes RPI and Skidmore College on November 22 and 28 in non-conference contests.
The 2016-2017 home opener for Sage has the Gators hosting SUNY-Old Westbury on December 3 in conjunction with the Sage Athletic Hall of Fame Day. Sage will host the Panthers at noon on Saturday in conjunction with a men's game that follows at 2 p.m. with SUNY-Canton in Kahl Gym.
2015-16 Skyline Conference Championship winners, SUNY Old Westbury (23-6, 13-3) rank second in the poll (72 pts., 3 first-place votes), and return guard and reigning conference Defensive Player of the Year, Jasmine Robinson (15.9 ppg, 3.9 spg) for her senior campaign.
College of Mount Saint Vincent (67) and Farmingdale State College (56) each received one first-place vote, and rank third and fourth in the tally, respectively. They are followed in the poll by: Mount Saint Mary College (54); St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn (39); St. Joseph's College-Long Island (29); U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (26); Purchase College, SUNY (22); and Yeshiva University (11).
The six-team, 2016-17 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Championship gets underway with first-round action on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with semifinal and final action taking place on Feb. 23 and 25, respectively. Higher seeds host throughout the championship, with the winner securing the Skyline's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship.
2016-17 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team (first-place votes), Pts.
1. Sage (5), 74
2. Old Westbury (3), 72
3. Mount Saint Vincent (1), 67
4. Farmingdale State (1), 56
5. Mount Saint Mary, 54
6. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn, 39
7. St. Joseph's-Long Island, 29
8. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 26
9. Purchase, 22
10. Yeshiva, 11