BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Jan. 13, 2018) – The Queens College men's basketball team played a competitive first half with the top team in the East Coast Conference, but the University of Bridgeport stormed out to an insurmountable lead in the second half and pulled away with a 99-81 victory over the Knights on Saturday (Jan. 13) at Harvey Hubbell Gymnasium.
The Knights (5-8, 3-3 ECC) opened the game on a 5-2 run in the first minute of play, with freshman guard Tyrese Crosdale doing all of the damage against Bridgeport (14-4, 7-1 ECC). Crosdale hit a three-pointer to get on the score sheet and then added a jumper to cap the run before UB went on a 6-0 run of its own to take an 8-5 lead. Crsodale would score on a lay-up to bring QC within one point at 8-7 with three minutes played in the half, but that was quickly answered by a D'Vonne Trumbo bucket for the Purple Knights mere minutes later.
Jelani Williams hit a three-pointer with 14:22 to go in the half to tie the game at 10-all and Queens would tie it again at 12 on an Elijah Bovell jumper, but the Purple Knights again went out in front. Yasir Lawrence knocked down a three-ball with 11:17 to play in the half to give UB a 19-12 edge and even though Terrell Williams brought Queens back within four points at 19-15 on a three-point play, the hosts continued to strive forward. Lawrence hit another jumper with 9:30 remaining to give Bridgeport its largest lead of the contest to that point at 23-15.
Down 29-19 with seven minutes to go, the Knights made a charge back as Bovell and Crosdale struck for back-to-back three-pointers and Queens found itself down by four points with a minute later. Bridgeport increased the lead back to seven points after Bakary Camara hit a lay-up and free throw for the Purple Knights with 5:49 left in the first half. Issac Grant, however, jammed home a feed from Jelani Williams to bring Queens within three points but the answer was quickly provided by Hashem Abbas mere seconds later.
With under four minutes to play in the half, Simon Green knocked down a jumper as the Knights crept within four points again at 35-31. Crosdale and Wayne Li brought Queens within a point with consecutive field goals, but the Knights were unable to regain the lead as Bridgeport utilized a 7-2 run in the final three minutes of the half to lead 43-37 at the break.
Queens kept the game close in the second half, as a Grant tip-in cut Bridgeport's lead to four points at 50-46 with three minutes gone by. Bridgeport, however, would commence a scoring assault to the tune of a 14-2 run in just four minutes. Dwayne Henry made a lay-up to end the run as Queens trailed 64-50 with 13:33 to play in regulation; thirty seconds later, Williams converted another three-point play as the Knights trimmed the deficit to eleven points at 64-53. The hosts ran off another seven-point spurt in the next ninety seconds, and a three by Camara gave UB a 71-53 lead with eleven-and-a-half minutes to play.
Determined to make a competitive charge to the end, QC battled for the remainder of the contest. Following a Sam Joseph three-pointer, Grant and Bovell hit back-to-back buckets in the paint bringing the Knights within fifteen points with nine minutes to play. Queens would make it slightly closer with six-and-a-half minutes to go, but the Purple Knights proved to be too much for Queens to tango with on this day.
Crosdale finished with a team-high 16 points and went 5-of-13 from the field. Grant collected a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) while Terrell Williams had arguably his best performance in a Knights uniform. The junior guard scored ten points and pulled down two rebounds as well. Bovell and Green added eleven and nine, respectively, for QC in the loss. Bridgeport had a balanced scoring attack highlighted by a game-high 16 points from Camara. Eric Rankin was near-perfect from the field, hitting five of his six field goal attempts and finishing the day with 13 points. Vakas Iqbal added 10 points and seven rebounds and Trumbo scored six points but dished out eleven assists in the victory.
Queens will host Roberts Wesleyan on Friday (Jan. 19) at Fitzgerald Gymnasium in Flushing with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.