Albany, NY- The Sage Colleges' women's basketball team finally had their 2016-2017 home opener on Saturday as they hosted the Panthers of SUNY-Old Westbury in Kahl Gym. Sage posted a 65-53 win on Saturday to improve to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Skyline, while SUNY-Old Westbury drops to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the league. The contest was a rematch of the 2015-2016 Skyline Conference Championship, which saw the Panthers triumph, 57-43 in Kahl Gym. This year's first regular-season meeting went to Sage, spoiling the Panthers' unbeaten campaign.
Sophomore guard Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, NY/Saranac) poured in a career-high 26 points with 13 rebounds to lead the Gators. She shot 10-18 from the floor with a 6-9 performance from the line, bettering her previous career-high of 23 points on opening night vs. Western Connecticut State on November 15.
Sage led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter and took a 35-26 lead into the locker room at halftime. Sage's Bowman led the squad with 13 first-half points, while adding six rebounds. Senior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) added nine points with a steal in the first half with all nine of her points coming from three-point range. Gator junior forward Genevieve Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls) led the team in the first half with eight rebounds, with four points.
Old Westbury's sophomore guard Tori Bellings (Brooklyn, NY/James Madison) added 12 first half points for the Panthers with a red-hot 5-5 effort from the floor. Sophomore guard Monique Joseph (Elmont, NY/Elmont Memorial) had seven first-half rebounds with two points as the Panthers were held to a 1-7 effort from three-point range (14.3%), while Sage hit 33.3% from three-point range (3-9) led by Pearson.
By day's end, Schoff tallied a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds, while Pearson finished with nine points, all in the first half. Sophomore Emily Parlsow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) added a season-best 14 points with six assists.
OW's Bellings finished with 16 points, while senior forward Ruth Vargas (Brentwood, NY/Brentwood) added 13 points with nine boards and three steals. Joseph added 13 rebounds with four points and a steal as the Panthers sufferend their first loss of the year.
After Saturday's action, Sage's duo of Schoff and Pearson continue their climb in the Gator Women's Basketball Record book. Pearson now has 819 career points and is No. 9 in scoring, while Schoff stands No. 12 with 732 points. Pearson also holds Sage's career three-pointer record with 147, while having now played in 86 games which ranks ninth all-time. Schoff is looking to rewrite the career free throws made standard as she has 235, which is No. 3 behind Elizabeth Pearl (237, 1987-1991) and is now No. 7 in career rebounds with 463.
Sage travels to Yeshiva University for a Skyline Conference match-up on December 6 that will be played on the campus of Baruch College at 7 p.m. SUNY-Old Westbury is back in action on December 10 hosting U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in a league contest at noon.