ALBANY, N.Y. – Russell Sage College held off visiting Skidmore 87-77 tonight in the Kahl Campus Center.
Four Gators scored in twin figures, with a pair recording double-doubles, in the home victory. Sophomore guard Syrita Faraj (Troy, NY/Tamarac), the reigning Empire 8 Conference Rookie of the Year, senior guard Sammy Pasinella (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville), and sophomore guard Lauren Sanderson (Ravena, NY/RCS), each netted 19 points to pace RSC. Faraj topped all participants with 12 rebounds, while Pasinella went 6-of-8 from the field. Forward Giuliana Pritchard (Amsterdam, NY/Amsterdam/Hartwick), a graduate student, contributed a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards, four blocks and three assists.
After Skidmore, tabbed to finish fourth in the Liberty League Preseason Coaches Poll, opened the non-conference contest on a 12-5 run, the Gators answered with a quarter-closing 21-10 jaunt of their own. RSC (2-0) increased its advantage in the second period, holding the visiting Thoroughbreds to 22.2 percent shooting in the stanza to go into the break up 52-36.
Sanderson led all participants with 12 first half points, while Pasinella added 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Thoroughbreds (1-1) climbed back into the contest with a strong third quarter, outscoring RSC 25-16 to go into the final frame trailing 68-61. Skidmore got its deficit to four, 73-69, with 5:41 remaining but was unable to get any closer from there.
Pritchard helped keep Skidmore at bay with a layup with 1:07 left. The Gators also went a perfect 8-of-8 at the line during the final 54 seconds to move to 2-0.
Sophomore forward Sarah Chambers, one of four Skidmore players in double figures, went 7-of-8 from the field en route to 18 points. Freshman guard Madison Meyer added 10 points, six rebounds and six steals in the setback.
Looking ahead, RSC plays its first road game of the season on Saturday at SUNY Oneonta. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 pm.
Notes: The Gators are coming off a semifinal appearance in the Empire 8 Conference Championship Tournament…11 players return from the team…Sophomore guard Syrita Faraj (Troy, NY/Tamarac) and senior guard Sammy Pasinella (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville) highlight the group…Faraj was voted the 2021-22 E8 Rookie of the Year, while Pasinella, a two-time All-Conference selection, opened the season ranked sixth in program records with 120 career made three-pointers…Head coach Allison Coleman began her ninth season at the helm with an overall record of 119-74.