ALBANY, N.Y. – Russell Sage College commenced its Empire 8 Conference schedule by falling to visiting Utica 85-66 tonight.
Leading 36-28 at the half, the Pioneers, coming off a 23-win season and the E8 regular season title, broke things open with a 12-2 run to start the second period.
Senior forward Charles Davis (Bronx, NY/Fannie Lou Hamer) paced the Gators with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting. He blocked five Utica shots and secured eight boards.
Sophomore guard Noah Girard (Glens Falls, NY/Glens Falls) registered nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, while sophomore forward Todd Williamson (Schenectady, NY/Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons) contributed six points and seven rebounds.
Utica (4-0/1-0 E8) had three players score in twin figures. Senior guard Justice Brantley led the way with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Dayion Thompson added 21 points and seven rebounds, while guard Darius Hopkins, a grad student, chipped in 14 points.
RSC (2-5/0-1 E8) returns to the court tomorrow afternoon vs. Keuka. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 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.