AMHERST, N.Y. – The No. 14 Queens College women's basketball team wrapped up a historic regular season campaign with an 84-66 win over Daemen College on Wednesday night, the Knights' 16th consecutive victory. Queens (24-3, 17-1 ECC) concludes the regular season with 24 victories overall, tying the program record for wins in a season.
The Knights, East Coast Conference (ECC) Regular Season Champions, will have the top seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming ECC Tournament.
Five Knights scored in double figures, led by senior Madison Rowland's game-high 23 points. Rowland notched her 15th double-double of the season by adding 13 rebounds to go with six assists and two steals. Freshman Beth Bonin also scored 17 points with a trio of three-pointers to go with four steals.
Junior Merrick Rowland scored all 15 of her points in the first half to help put the Knights on top early on. After Daemen took a 6-4 lead 1:50 into the opening quarter, Merrick scored the next eight points for the Knights to give them the lead for good midway through the first period. The Knights took an eight-point lead on a pair of free-throws by redshirt senior MacKenzie Rowland before the Wildcats pulled back within five, 20-15, at the end of the first.
Queens took complete control in the second quarter, outscoring Daemen, 22-10. The Knights opened the period with eight straight points to take a 28-15 lead with 6:46 until halftime. Holding a 33-22 lead four minutes later, Queens ended the half on a 9-3 run to enter the break with a comfortable 42-25 lead.
The Knights kept the pressure on out of halftime, opening the half on a quick 7-2 run to take their largest lead of the game, 49-27, after Bonin converted on a pair of foul shots 2:03 into the third quarter. The Wildcats fought back, however, cutting the lead to 11 at 58-47 with 49 seconds left in the period, but Madison drained a three-pointer 25 seconds later to give the Knights a 61-47 lead entering the fourth. Queens kept the offense rolling in the final period, making 50 percent of its shots while holding Daemen to 20 percent from behind the arc. Madison scored 12 points alone in the fourth quarter, as the Knights rolled to the 84-66 final.
MacKenzie kept her streak of double-doubles alive with her sixth straight and 19th of the season, registering 12 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Redshirt senior Joya McFarland also scored in double digits with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Knights held a major advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats, 49-36.
The win marked the 99th victory for head coach Elizabeth Naumovski with Queens, needing only one more for 100, as the Knights head into the postseason. Madison's two steals bring her season total to 125, tying the single season program record, which she set as a sophomore during the 2014-15 campaign.
The ECC Tournament will begin with first round games on Wednesday, March 1. As the top seed, Queens will receive a bye into the semifinals, which will take place on Saturday, March 4, hosted by the University of Bridgeport.