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Gators fall in Empire 8 Opener, 64-54

Gators fall in Empire 8 Opener, 64-54
Albany, NY— Briannah Florian scored 16 points and Sydney Przygoda had a game high 18 rebounds with 10 points to lead Utica College to a 64-54 victory at The Sage Colleges Friday night in the Empire 8 opener for both teams. The Pioneers improved to 6-4 overall (1-0 league) and the Gators fell to 5-5 (0-1 league).
 
Brigid Johndrow scored 15 with 11 rebounds with seven and Nicolette Conklin dished out six assists for Utica, which shot 43% and had a commanding 49-35 rebounding advantage led by Przygoda and Johndrow. 
 
Sage was led by newcomer Giuliana Pritchard (Amsterdam, NY/Amsterdam) who had a career and season best 18 points and six assists. Rookie forward Emily Pike (Ticonderoga, NY/Ticonderoga) added 12 points, setting a new career high by one point, and sophomore forward Madasyn Bush (Pottersville, NY/North Warren Central) scored  10 points with a team high nine rebounds. Sage shot 33% for the game and forced 16 turnovers.
 
The Pioneers started out hot, scoring the first nine points of the contest for a 9-0 lead with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter. After a Conkin three pointer gave Utica an 11 point lead at 18-7 with 2:10 left, the Gators went on a 6-2 run to close out the first quarter trailing 20-13.
 
Utica led by as many as 13 twice in the second quarter, including at 28-15 with 7:30 left after a basket by Brigid Johndrow. But Sage's Pritchard took over and scored five points during an 11-1 run over the next five minutes to pull the Gators to within three at 29-26. Utica took a 31-28 lead into halftime. Przygoda had 11 of the Pioneers' 23 rebounds at halftime.
 
A close third quarter featured a five point lead by Utica with a 38-33 lead with 5:46 remaining in the third. With 3:59 left it was 40-35 but the Gators tied it at 40-40 with a Pritchard three with 3:17 remaining. The Gators entered the fourth quarter tied at 42-42 with the Pioneers. But Utica went on a 11-4 run over the first 4:36 of the quarter for an 11 point lead at 57-46. The Gators got no closer then seven points.
 
The Gators will return to action on January 5 hosting Elmira College in a 3 p.m. Empire 8 contest in Kahl Gym, while Utica College will travel to Stevens for a 2 p.m. road Empire 8 contest also on Saturday.

 

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