Rochester, NY- The Sage Colleges' women's basketball team travelled to St. John Fisher College on Friday for the semifinals of the 2018 Empire 8 Women's Basketball Championship. Seeded No. 2, Sage took on the No. 3 seeded Ducks of Stevens. Stevens posted the upset win topping Sage, 64-62 to advance to Saturday's championship game. Stevens improves to 14-12, while Sage's season ends with an 18-8 record. Stevens will face # 1 seeded St. John Fisher on Saturday in the championship at 4 p.m. after the Cardinals beat Houghton, 62-46.
Sage led 38-34 at the half and was paced by the play of senior forward Gen Schoff (Little Falls, NY/Little Falls) as she had 11 points with eight rebounds at the break. Stevens had a 17-15 lead to end the first half, before Sage used a late second quarter run to take the four-point lead into the locker room at the break.
By game's end, Schoff had a team-best 20 points with 14 rebounds and four blocked shots to record her 33rd career double-double and her 73rd career game scoring in double digits, but it was not enough to propel Sage to the Empire 8 Championship.
Sage led 62-56 with 3:17 left to play before Stevens went on an 8-point run to close the game. Paced by the play of Megan Brown, who led all players with her 31 points and 18 rebounds, the Ducks cut the lead at 1:56 as Brown hit a layup and was fouled to convert the three-point play, cutting the Sage lead to three points. Brown added another layup at 1:10 to pull the Ducks within one points, 62-61. With 18 seconds left in regulation, Sam Winter made a jumper to give Stevens the 63-62 lead. Sage was unable to convert Macie Holmes (Amsterdam, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) and sophomore Gessica Patregnani (Troy, NY/Lansingburgh) each missed shots and with Sage fouled Stevens' Annetta Panayides missed her first free throw, but hit the second with just three seconds left to play. Time expired before Sage would get a shot to fall in for the win or a tie.
Schoff wraps her amazing career as a four-year starter and all-star having just earned Empire 8 First Team honors on Thursday as the second all-time leading scorer. Schoff is Sage's No. 2 all-time player in points (1,394), rebounds (871), blocks (128) and game played (106). Schoff finishes with a 13.2 ppg average on her career which is No. 4 all-time, while falling just 19 points shy of breaking Sage's career scoring mark which stands at 1,412 points and is held by Jocelyn Naple (1994-1998). Schoff is also the all-time free throw leader at Sage having made 405 of 544 attempts for a .744 free throw percentage which is sixth best as well.
For the game, Patregnani added 12 points off the bench with two made three-pointers, while Holmes added eight points and also had two three –pointers. Junior guard Emily Parslow (Fonda, NY/Fonda-Fultonville) finished with eight points, while junior guard Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, NY/Saranac) connected for four points with six rebounds.
Parlsow wraps her junior season with 963 career points putting her in the No. 7 spot, while adding a single-season 73 three-pointers this year. She is now second in the Gator career three-point record category with 170, while also handing out 284 assists which ranks fourth. Bowman has 705 career points and is now 15th on the scoring list, while 578 rebounds is sixth best. Holmes checks in with 546 career points through her three seasons, while adding 119 career three point baskets and is now fourth on the career list with 170 career assists (No. 13). Patregnani has 70 career three point baskets in two seasons, ranking her 12th already.
With the wrap of the 2017-2018 season, Friday's loss marks the last game for another of Sage's seniors, forward Alyssa Nellis (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown). Nellis, a two-sport performer at Sage having also led the women's volleyball team for four years, has played in 43 games on the hardwood.