MacKenzie Rowland Leads Knights Over Le Moyne

MacKenzie Rowland Leads Knights Over Le Moyne
FLUSHING, N.Y. – The Queens College women's basketball team closed the calendar year with Friday afternoon's resounding 70-56 victory over Le Moyne College at Fitzgerald Gymnasium. Senior MacKenzie Rowland guided the team's efforts with her tremendous outpouring of 28 points and 15 rebounds as the Knights improved to 10-3 on the season.
MacKenzie applied an efficient blend of close-range jump shots and lay-ins to reach her game-high total in points, connecting on 11-of-16 of her attempts. Senior Madison Rowland provided support with 15 points and eight rebounds. Madison also added a season-high four blocks to stifle the Dolphins on the other end. As a team, the Knights defense limited Le Moyne to 34 percent shooting and forced their ball handlers into 20 combined turnovers.

The game started as a back-and-forth affair between both teams with the Dolphins' Joanna Dobrovosky scoring six points to keep the Queens margin at one, 12-11, with five minutes having passed in the opening frame. MacKenzie and Merrick Rowland together scored six unanswered points to carry the Knights' lead to 18-11, and in the quarter's final possession, freshman Beth Bonin drilled a three-pointer to push the deficit to nine, 23-14.

Junior forward Melissa Fumano made it 27-14 with her sixth point of the game early in the second quarter before the Knights intensified their defensive effort to close the half. Queens forced Le Moyne into 10 turnovers in the second quarter alone, and when the Dolphins were able to settle into their offense, they were only able to connect on four of their 13 attempts. Later, Dah'Vielle Lucas' lay-up off an assist from Fumano as the period ended allowed the Knights to match their largest lead of the game, 38-23, heading into halftime.

MacKenzie's lay-up with a minute and a half having gone by in the third embodied the Knights' strong effort to open the second half and also increased their lead to 19, 44-25. After Madison blocked a layup on the other end and secured the rebound, Queens came down and fought for two offensive rebounds before MacKenzie made her basket. The Knights were then able to maintain their cushion after Bonin's lay-up with 5:27 remaining pushed their lead again to 19. Le Moyne did rally later on in the quarter by outscoring the Knights 14-5 over the final four minutes and tightening the score to 52-44 heading into the decisive frame.

The Knights' 9-0 run spanning the middle of the fourth restored their lead to 17 and essentially put any hopes the Dolphins had of mounting a comeback away. Madison had five points during the stretch on a pair of jump shots, and the basket by sophomore Emer Moloney with 3:36 remaining made it 63-46. The Knights made enough of their free throws during the final minutes to hold on to their 70-56 win.

Three scorers in double-digits paced the Dolphins; Ellie Leszyk had 13 points, and Dobrovosky and Purcell each chipped in 12 points. Le Moyne fell to 7-5 with the nonconference loss.

Queens goes on the road for their next matchup, a conference clash with Bridgeport on Wednesday, January 4. Game time at the Purple Knights' Hubbell Gym is set for 5:00 p.m.