PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Sophomore Macie Holmes (Amsterdam, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy) scored a game-high 15 points to lead four players in double figures as the Sage College Gators completed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies 59-57 in the second game of the Hampton Inn/Microtell Cardinal Classic hosted by Plattsburgh State.
With the win, Sage improves to 1-1 on the season and advances to the championship game of the tournament and will face host Plattsburgh State on Sunday (3:00 p.m.). Southern Maine is now 0-2 and will face Southern Vermont College tomorrow (1:00) in the consolation game. Plattsburgh State defeated Southern Vermont 80-38 in the first game.
Trailing the Huskies 43-35 to start the fourth quarter, Sage held the Huskies scoreless for the first five minutes of the quarter and jumped ahead 52-43. Holmes capped the Gator run with traditional three-point play. Huskies’ freshman Hanna Clement (Orono, Maine) ended the USM scoring drought with a pair of free throws to kick start a 9-2 run capped by a three-pointer from junior Emily Nicholson (Quispamsis, New Brunswick/Kennebecasis Valley) with 2:07 remaining to leave the score at 54-52 in favor of Sage. Holmes answered back with two free throws to put the Gators ahead by four, 56-52, on the next possession. The Huskies again pulled to within a basket, on a jumper from freshman Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt), but Holmes again answered for the Gators with another set of free throws to make it 58-54 with 30 seconds to play.
Trailing by four and with time winding down, Southern Maine carried the distance of the court, and sophomore Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) drained a three on an assist from Eells to make it a one point game, 58-57, with 20 seconds to play. Forced to foul, USM put Sage on the line and Frankie Pearson hit one of two and the Huskies regained possession. However, USM turned the ball over on its next possession and again put Sage on the line. The Gators missed both free throws and the Huskies had one last look at the basket with less than three seconds to play, but the long three rimmed out for the final.
Holmes was 3-for-7 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line to lead the Gators. Sophomore Kaitlyn Bowman (Dannemora, N.Y./Saranac) added 13 points and eight rebounds, while senior Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, N.Y./Hoosick Falls Central) added 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior Genevieve Schoff (Little Falls, N.Y.) was the last Gator in double figures with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Nicholson led the Huskies with 14 points and six rebounds, while Howrigan had 12 points and four rebounds. Freshman Mychaela Harton (Georgia, Vt./Essex) added seven points and five rebounds, while Eels and junior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) with six points each.