Newburgh, NY- Mount Saint Mary Stifles Preseason Favorite Sage, 49-34. Sophomore Megan Kerutis (Merrimack, N.H) led the Mount Saint Mary College Women's Basketball team with 11 points as the Knights opened conference play with a 49-34 home win over preseason favorite Sage on Thursday night. The win is the Mount's fourth straight to open the season.
After scoring just five points in the opening period and falling behind 14-5 after 10 minutes of action, the Knights rallied in the second frame to outscore Sage 16-2. The Mount shot an even 50-percent from the floor in the second stanza and held the visitors to a 1-for-12 effort from the field.
The Knights scored the first 14 points of the second quarter, including a pair of three-pointers from Jordyn Hellpap (Hackensack, N.J.), and did not allow Sage a bucket until a Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, NY/Saranac) conversion half way through the period. The bucket was the Gators' only score of the frame as the Knights carried a 21-16 lead into the intermission.
Mount Saint Mary shot 38.1-percent from the floor in the first half on Thursday and knocked in two of its three triple tries. The Gators were held to 27.6-percent from the field, including 0-for-4 from three-point range, but Bowman led all scorers at the break with 10 points.
Coming out of halftime, the Mount spread its lead to eight points on a Maite Gritsko (Milford, Conn.) bucket at the 5:34 mark of the third quarter and led by as many as nine points on a Bridget Kelly (Farmington, Conn.) bucket before taking a seven point lead into the final period.
The Knights pushed their lead to double figures for the first time on a Jessica Rini (Seaford, N.Y.) basket early in the fourth period and never let Sage closer than nine points the rest of the night. The Mount held Sage to 3-for-13 shooting in the final period and grabbed it largest lead of the game, a 42-25 advantage, on a Gritsko lay-in with 5:44 left to play.
Kerutis finished the game as the only Knight in double-figures, but was one of six players to finish with at least six points in the game. Kelly totaled nine points and hauled in eight rebounds, while Kayla Cleare (West Hempstead, N.Y.) finished with eight points, eight boards and two steals.
Gritsko rounded out a strong all-around game with matching her career-high in scoring with seven points and rebounding with eight boards to go along with two blocks and three assists.
Sage was led by a game-high 14 points from Bowman who added seven rebounds. The Gators were held to 25.4-percent shooting in the game, including a 1-for-11 effort from three-point range.
Mount Saint Mary closed the night shooting 42.2-percent from the field and outscored the visitors 26-18 in the paint and 15-11 in second chance scoring after posting 12 offensive rebounds.
Sage hosts SUNY-Old Westbury in a Skyline Conference match-up on December 3 at Noon.