Amherst, MA- The Sage women's basketball team faced the No. 19 ranked Eagles of the University of Mary Washington in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament on the campus of Amherst College on Friday night. For the Gators, the 2017 tournament appearance was the second in program-history, while the Eagles were making their 11th tournament showing.
After a tough fought game, Sage's season came to an end, falling to the Eagles 62-57 in the NCAA first round. With the loss, Sage wraps their year with a 20-9 mark, while the UMW advances to the NCAA second round bringing a 24-4 mark into the game and will take on nationally ranked Amherst College (28-0) in the championship game on March 4 at Amherst College at 6 p.m.
The Eagles held a 37-27 lead at the half as they combined to shoot 50 percent in the half, 14-28 as senior center Brianne Comden (Fredericksburg, VA) led the squad with her 16 points after converting 7-of-11 shots.
Sage's senior guard Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) added 10 points in the first half and added a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore guard Emily Parslow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) tallied seven points in the first stanza, while junior Alyssa Nellis (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) came in off the bench providing a spark with five points and three offensive rebounds as the Gators trailed by 10 at the half.
After trailing 56-51 with 4:48 left in the contest, sophomore guard Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, NY/Saranac) added a pair of free throws and Pearson buried a three-point basket to tied the game at 56-56 with 3:48 left to play, marking the third tie of the contest. Bowman hit the second of two free throws at 3:21 giving Sage a 57-56 lead.
UWM's Megan Green tied the action at 57-57 with her free throw at 2:53 before Jordan Pamlanye hit a layup at 2:12 and gave the Eagles a 59-57 lead. Green would convert two more free throws down the stretch and despite three-point attempt by Parlsow at 0:15, Sage was unable to convert an attempt and the Eagles regained the ball off the missed three-pointer. Sage sent Green back to the line with just four seconds left in the action and she sealed the UMW win with her efforts.
For the game, Comden led all scorers with her 24 points with seven rebounds. Green tallied nine points with a four-for-six effort from the line as the Eagles converted 13-of-19 free throws in the action.
Parlsow led all Sage players with her 19 points and five made three-point baskets. Pearson added 15 points with seven rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in her final appearance as a Gator.
Pearson wraps her career in a Sage uniform having played in a program-best 108 games with a career record for most three-point baskets made with 200, while ranking No. 3 all-time in scoring with 1,081 points as she moved ahead of Megan Bowman (1,080 points, 2011-2015) in the contest. She also finishes with 191 assists (No. 9), 167 steals (No. 7) and 446 rebounds (No. 8).
Bowman tallied nine points with five rebounds, while junior forward Genevieve Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls) led the team and the game with her nine rebounds. She added six points with a blocked shot, giving her 1,031 career points which puts her fifth on the all-time scoring list heading into her final season next year. Already No. 2 on the Gator career blocked shots list, she has 96, while adding 663 rebounds which is third all-time at Sage.
Gators have now won 15 or more games in each of the last four seasons, including a program best 21 wins last season. Only in her third season at Sage, head coach Allison Coleman owns an impressive 59-23 record at the helm of the Gator team, having brought Sage to the NCAA tournament in just her third season as a head coach.