Women's Basketball Outlasts UDC, Closes Out Year with 72-68 Victory

Women's Basketball Outlasts UDC, Closes Out Year with 72-68 Victory

FLUSHING, N.Y. (Dec. 30, 2017) – The Queens College women's basketball team survived a staunch test from a conference opponent, knocking off UDC by a final score of 72-68 on Saturday (Dec. 30) to close out the 2017 calendar year on a three-game winning streak. With the win, Queens improves to 6-4 on the season and is an unblemished 2-0 in East Coast Conference play. UDC drops to 2-10 overall and 0-3 in conference competition.

The Knights opened the contest by hitting six of their first nine shots in the opening five minutes of play. Beth Bonin started with much of the early damage from beyond the three-point line, opening the game with a three-ball and hitting another to make it 10-7 with under seven minutes to play in the frame. Marina Ramon Lopez hit consecutive buckets inside the arc to keep Queens ahead by a 14-9 margin midway through the quarter; QC extended its lead to 22-16 after Merrick Rowland knocked down a three-pointer with two minutes to go, but UDC battle its way back to go on a 4-1 mini-run as the Firebirds ended the frame down 23-20. In the second quarter, the visiting side made its way back into the contest. A jumper by Maya Thomas in the first 100 seconds of the stanza tied the score at 24-all, and Desiree Gaeckler's first two points of the game gave UDC a 28-26 lead with under five minutes remaining in the half. Queens was quick to establish a back-and-forth tempo to the remainder of the quarter, with two free throws by Bonin in the closing seconds establishing a 37-35 edge for the Knights at the halftime break.

The second half was a war of attrition on both sides of the ball, with the teams struggling to push forth and earn a competitive advantage. UDC would claw its way back to a 41-all tie on a Gaeckler bucket midway through the third quarter, but that was answered by a jumper from Ramon Lopez to give QC a 43-41 edge. The Knights built up an eight-point lead on a Bonin treble, but the 51-43 margin dissipated to three by the end of the frame as UDC fought back again to end the third quarter down 56-53. The Firebirds tied the score in the fourth on a three-pointer by Daeja Quick, which knotted the score at 58-all with 7:47 remaining in regulation. With under four minutes to play in the game, Taliyah Hopkins hit a significant shot to give QC a 63-62 lead; Ramon Lopez made the next basket to put the Knights up by three. That proved pivotal as the Firebirds never re-took the lead. With twenty seconds to play, aggressive defense by Emer Moloney caused a UDC turnover with the game on the line and the Knights sealed the home win with free throws by Rowland and Lucy Tougas.

Rowland led all players with 19 points, and she is now 14 shy of hitting the 1,000-point plateau for her career. Hopkins had 17 points off the bench and was 9-of-12 from the free throw line in the victory. Ramon Lopez collected a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Beth Bonin added 13 points, five boards and four assists. Tougas added six points and Dah'Vielle Lucas ripped down eight rebounds in twelve minutes of playing time.

UDC was led by a 17-point effort from Quick; Tyra Coombs had 10 points and eight rebounds and Gaeckler added eight points and seven rebounds off the bench. Mia-Alexis Lloyd scored 11 points for the Firebirds in the loss.

Queens shot 40% (22-55) from the field in the win and held UDC to just 35% from the field as the Firebirds went 26-or-74 from the field and 4-of-17 from three-point territory. The Knights were frequent visitors to the charity stripe, hitting 22-of-28 attempts.

QC will open the 2018 calendar year at home with a Wednesday night contest against NYIT at 5:30 p.m.