ALBANY, N.Y. – Junior guard/forward Jackson Brown (Latham, NY/Catholic Central/Fredonia State) knocked down a jumper with 1.2 seconds left to propel Russell Sage College past visiting SUNY Poly 70-69 this afternoon in the Kahl Campus Center.
Brown went 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, en route to a career-high 27 points. He netted 17 of his points after the break, helping the Gators erase a double-digit second half deficit. Sophomore forward Todd Williamson (Schenectady, NY/Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons) added 14 points and five rebounds, while sophomore guard Noah Girard (Glens Falls, NY/Glens Falls) contributed eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
SUNY Poly (2-2), which led 35-29 at the half, had three players score in twin figures in the non-conference matinee. Sophomore guard Dylan Ernst paced the Wildcats with a double-double of 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 12 rebounds. Senior forward Jesse O'Dell registered 16 points and eight boards, while senior guard Mitch Kernizan tossed in 15 points.
The visitors used a 16-5 run across 6:08 spanning the intermission to go up 44-33 with 16:21 left. Instead of allowing SUNY Poly to run away with their home opener, the Gators answered with a 19-3 jaunt of their own to go up 52-47 with 11:19 remaining. The teams combined for four ties and ten lead changes from there.
After Williamson converted a layup with 1:14 remaining to break a 66-66 deadlock, Ernst responded with a three to put the Wildcats back ahead. Following an RSC miss, Poly had its chances to increase its lead, missing both a layup and then a pair of foul shots with 10 seconds on the clock. Williamson secured the carom to set the stage for Brown's heroics.
Girard would then intercept the long Wildcat inbounds toss to ensure that the Gators emerged victorious.
Looking ahead, RSC (1-3) hosts Mount Saint Mary College on Tuesday at 5:00 pm.
Notes: The Gators, coming off an Empire 8 Conference Championship Tournament appearance, graduated all five starters from last season…Nine players, accounting for just 21.22 percent of scoring and 16.82 percent of rebounding, are back…They joined nine newcomers to make up this year's roster…Sophomore guard Noah Girard (Glens Falls, NY/Glens Falls) and guard Ryan Long (Averill Park, NY/Averill Park), a graduate student, were voted co-captains...Head Coach Brian Barnes, now in his 14th season, began the campaign with a 167-153 overall record.