FLUSHING, N.Y. – The Queens College women's basketball team picked up its third straight home win Wednesday night, holding off the Dominican College (N.Y.) Lady Chargers, 64-58, on Military, Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day. Queens remains unbeaten (3-0) at Fitzgerald Gym this season.
After starting 0-2, the Knights have found their rhythm, improving to 3-2 on the young season. Meanwhile, the Lady Chargers fall to 0-6 on the year.
Reigning East Coast Conference (ECC) Player of the Week Merrick Rowland had a game-high 17 points, making 5-of-9 three-pointers and adding seven rebounds, a career-best four blocks as well as two steals. Sophomore Beth Bonin added 12 points, three rebounds and a pair of steals, while she matched her career high with six assists.
Rowland hit a three to begin the game's scoring and then nailed her second triple with 5:23 to go in the first quarter to give Queens a 12-4 lead. The Lady Chargers followed with a 9-2 run, pulling within one on a Samantha McClutchy layup in the final minute of the quarter.
A third triple by Rowland pushed the lead back to four, but two more layups by McClutchy tied the game at 17 all 2:31 into the second quarter. But again, Rowland responded with her fourth and fifth three-pointers of the contest to keep the Knights on top. Dominican cut the lead to just one with only three seconds on the clock, 31-30, but Bonin came through big with a buzzer-beating three to provide a 34-30 halftime advantage.
Bonin continued out of the break, hitting another trey to push the Knights' lead to seven 1:52 into the second half. A three by junior Taliyah Hopkins and a layup by classmate Kaitlyn Mahon later gave Queens a 42-32 lead with 5:47 left in the third period. Queens maintained a 10-point lead after a jumper by freshman Lucy Tougas, but then Dominican went on an 11-2 run to come back within a point, 46-45, entering the quarter's final minute. However, the Knights finished strong, and Bonin drained another buzzer beater to make it 52-45 entering the fourth.
Sophomore Taylor Sparks-Faulkner made a layup and Tougas hit a jumper to start the fourth, as Queens took its largest lead of the game (11), 56-45, with 8:15 remaining. Dominican fought back again, though, and worked an 8-0 run to cut the lead down to three on a Taylor Tomlinson jumper, forcing a Knights' timeout with 5:11 on the clock. From there, the Knights picked up their defense and held Dominican to just one made basket the rest of the way, hanging on for the 64-58 win.
Hopkins tallied nine points and seven rebounds, while Mahon also notched nine points to go with four rebounds and two steals. Tougas had the best game of her young career thus far, recording eight points, five rebounds and two blocks off the bench. Queens won despite shooting 34.8 percent compared to Dominican's 38.6 percent clip, but it was the Knights' 47.1 percent showing from downtown that made the difference.
Queens will begin a three-game road trip next, starting with a matchup at University of the Sciences on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m.