First-Half Defense, Second-Half Offense Lift Women's Basketball to 60-53 Win over Molloy

First-Half Defense, Second-Half Offense Lift Women's Basketball to 60-53 Win over Molloy

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (Dec. 9, 2017)Marina Ramon Lopez scored eight of her 10 points off the bench in the first half as the Queens College women's basketball team stifled Molloy from the field on its way to a 60-53 victory over the Lions on Saturday (Dec. 9) at Quealy Gymnasium. The Knights improve to 4-4 on the season, winning their conference debut while Molloy drops to 5-4 on the season and 1-1 in ECC play.

The two teams struggled through the first few minutes of play, failing to score until the 7:45 mark of the first quarter when Rowland hit a bucket to give the Knights the lead. Dah'Vielle Lucas scored a minute later off an assist from Kaitlyn Mahon to put Queens up by four points before Molloy went on a 7-0 run to earn the lead. Ihnacinse Grady did most of the damage for the Lions with a three-pointer and fast-break lay-in to put the Lions up three at 7-4 with 4:44 to play in the first. Emer Moloney answered with a jumper off a nice pass from Mahon and Rowland would score a lay-in a minute later to even the score at 8-all. The bucket by the senior from Albany was the catalyst to an 8-0 run for the Knights that put QC ahead for the remainder of the first half. Beth Bonin created a transition lay-up as Mahon recorded her third assist in the first quarter to give the Knights a 10-8 lead and the lead quickly swelled to six following points from Ramon Lopez and Rowland. The senior from Spain would create the last four points of the frame for Queens, hitting two free throws after an offensive rebound with 30 seconds to play in the frame before laying in a bucket at the buzzer to give the Knights an 18-10 edge after one period of play. Queens held a 14-5 rebounding margin after the first quarter in a dominant showcase on the glass.

After both sides traded free throws to open the second quarter, Ramon Lopez and Rowland did further damage to lift the Knights to a double-digit lead with seven minutes to play in the first half. Rowland created a steal off a Molloy turnover and then fed Ramon Lopez for a jumper to give QC a 22-12 edge. The second quarter would prove to be a low-scoring affair (9-7 in favor of Queens) thanks to several blocks by Rowland and Taliyah Hopkins on lay-ups by Grady and Gabriella Aspuru for the Lions. Kathryn Gibson hit a three-pointer for Molloy with over four minutes to play, cutting the Knights' lead to seven points at 24-17 but Queens responded with a bucket by Mahon and a free throw from Hopkins to enter the halftime break up by seven at 27-17. The Knights held Molloy to a 19% mark from the field in the first half as the Lions hit just five field goals in 27 attempts. Queens, meanwhile, was 10-for-29 (35%) from the field and held a plus-six rebounding margin (24-18) after 20 minutes of play.

An offensive explosion occurred in the third quarter for both sides, but mostly for the Knights and mostly beyond the three-point line. Rowland, Bonin and Mahon each hit long-distance jumpers in the frame; the latter guards hit back-to-back trebles with under five minutes to play in the frame as Queens raced out to a 41-26 lead. The Knights ended the third quarter up 13 after a Lucas lay-up put QC ahead 45-32; Ramon Lopez opened the Knights' scoring account in the fourth quarter after a Gibson three-pointer. Molloy cut the lead to eight points midway through the fourth quarter after a lay-up by Aspuru and a three-point play from Grady answered a three-pointer from Rowland. The Knights' lead was 50-42 with 5:54 remaining in regulation, but it would soon swell back to double-digits. After Ramon Lopez corralled an offensive rebound, Moloney fed Bonin for a three-pointer with 4:15 remaining to give Queens a 53-42 lead. Molloy failed to answer before Moloney and Rowland knocked down consecutive jumpers to put the game on ice for the Knights.

Rowland led the Knights with 17 points, hitting 6-of-17 from the field in the win. The senior also had nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals for Queens. Bonin scored 15 points and Ramon Lopez added seven rebounds to go with her ten points. Mahon was incredibly effective with nine points, six rebounds and a team-high six assists on the day. The Knights shot 22-of-58 (38%) from the field in the win and hit seven three-pointers on the afternoon. Queens was nearly perfect (9-10) from the free throw line and ended the game with a plus-nine margin (42-33) in rebounding. QC also ran the roost in second chance points, scoring 20 points on rebound opportunities.

Grady led all scorers with 20 points for Molloy while Gibson added 13 off the bench for the Lions. Molloy ended the game hitting 33% (19-57) of its shots from the field in the loss.

Queens will host Franklin Pierce University on Saturday (Dec. 16) at Fitzgerald Gymnasium with tip-off set for 3 p.m. It is the annual Holiday Hoops game for the Knights, where spectators can bring an unwrapped toy to the game to receive free admission.