ALBANY – The Mount Saint Mary College Women’s Basketball team dropped a tough 58-54 road decision on the road at conference preseason favorite Sage on Saturday afternoon. The Knights and Gators, who have split the regular season series, stand in a tie atop the Skyline Conference standings following Saturday’s result.
The Knights opened the game with the first four points on buckets from Megan Kerutis and Jessica Rini. Sage grabbed its first lead on a pair of Genevieve Schoff free-throws midway through the opening period to account for one of four lead changes over the first 10 minutes of the contest.
After an Emily Parslow bucket gave the Gators a 12-11 lead in the final minute of the first period, the Gators would not trail again prior to halftime. The Knights tied the score at 13-13 on a Rini bucket in the opening minute of the second stanza and a Kassidy Hallum triple knotted the score at 20-20 with 4:45 left before halftime.
With the score tied at 20-20, the Gators responded with a three-pointer from Gessica Patregnani on the ensuing possession and outscored the Mount 7-6 following the Hallum three-pointer to carry a slim 27-26 lead into halftime.
Mount Saint Mary went 10-for-30 from the floor over the first two quarters on Saturday and 1-for-8 from three-point range. Sage converted at 42.9-percent in the first half and knocked in a pair of triples to gain the one point lead. Rini led all scorers at the break with 12 tallies, while Kaitlyn Bowman paced the Gators with 10 first half points.
Bridget Kelly gave the Knights their first lead of the second half on a fast break bucket off a steal, giving the Knights a 32-31 lead with 6:18 left in the third frame. Sage answered with five straight points, including a three from Patregnani, to jump in front 36-32 on its way to a 43-40 lead heading into the final period.
Following the Kelly bucket, the Knights would not lead again in the game and saw the Gators open the fourth quarter with a 9-5 stretch to grab their largest lead of the game, a 52-45 advantage on a Schoff jumper with 6:49 left in regulation.
The Knights would close to within three points three times in the final 3:57, including on a Lyndsay Pace bucket with 13 seconds left, but would not be able to pull any closer.
The Knights finished the game shooting 35.1-percent overall and went just 2-for-15 from three-point range in the game. Sage converted at 43.5-percent overall, making two more three-pointers and two more free-throws in the game to sneak past the Knights.
Rini was the lone player to net double-figures for the Mount, going 5-for-13 form the floor and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line on her way to a team-high 16 points. Kelly added eight points off the bench and Elizabeth Limonta produced seven points, three assists and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Sage got a game-high 20 points from Bowman who added five rebounds and 12 bench points from Patregnani. Parslow wrapped up the game with nine points, three boards and three assists.
Saturday’s loss stops a four game winning streak for Mount Saint Mary and drops it to 12-4 overall and 8-2 in conference play. The Knights will return home on Wednesday when they welcome Purchase to the Kaplan Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.