FLUSHING, N.Y. (Jan. 24, 2018) – The Queens College men's basketball team played a gritty contest Wednesday evening (Jan. 24) in front of the eyes of the world on ESPN3, but it would be Saint Thomas Aquinas capturing the victory by a final score of 80-66 at Fitzgerald Gymnasium.
In a competitive and foul-heavy first half of action, Issac Grant got the ball rolling for Queens (5-11, 3-6 ECC) with a three-ball to score the game's first points on the opening possession. Five minutes into the first half and the Knights held a 9-7 lead before STAC (17-4, 8-1 ECC) went on an 8-0 run punctuated by a jumper from Shaquille McFarlan that gave the Spartans a 15-9 lead. QC would not quit as Terrell Williams hit a three-pointer that brought the Knights within one point at 22-21 midway through the half, but the Spartans once again went on a run as Justin Reyes converted on a three-point play to give the visitors a 29-21 lead a few minutes later. Though Queens continued to battle back, STAC held serve with the lead for the remainder of the opening period with a three-pointer by Kameron Murrell capping the scoring for the half as the Spartans led 43-37 after twenty minutes of play.
Queens made a push for a comeback in the second half as the Knights found themselves down by just three points at two different occasions early in the frame. At 47-44 with 17:35 to play in regulation, however, STAC pulled away again with a Reyes three-point play a minute or so later giving the Spartans a seven-point edge. The Knights would get as close as five points but Murrell drilled a long three once again to put the visitors up by ten points at 58-48 just under nine minutes into the period. Later in the frame, Dwayne Henry hit a three-pointer that brought the Knights within six with under seven minutes to play. Again, the Spartans showed poise in building the lead back up with a step-back jumper by James Mitchell giving STAC a 71-60 lead that proved to be too much to overcome.
Grant and Simon Green led QC with 11 points apiece, with Green also pulling down eight rebounds in the effort. Three players---Henry, Tyrone Hall and Keenan Gorski---each added eight points for the Knights, with the freshman Aussie racking up six boards as well. STAC was led by a 22-point, 14-rebound effort from Reyes with Murrell and Mitchell scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Queens will hit the road for a Saturday afternoon (Jan. 27) showdown at UDC with tip-off set for 3 p.m.