FLUSHING, N.Y. (Jan. 24, 2018) – A 22-7 first quarter of play proved to be the difference against the Queens College women's basketball team on Wednesday (Jan. 24) with the Knights dropping a 64-50 contest to Saint Thomas Aquinas College at Lucille Kyvallos Court at Fitzgerald Gymnasium in a game streamed live on ESPN3.
Queens (8-9, 4-5 ECC) did not lead at all in the first half, but the Knights did battle back for ties at 3-3 and 5-5 with STAC (16-3, 8-1 ECC). A Beth Bonin three-ball answered one by Jenna Erickson in the first minute of the first quarter and two free throws from Lucy Tougas were the response to a lay-up by Alex Bertolino. The rest of the first quarter, however, belonged to the Spartans as Saint Thomas Aquinas used a suffocating press defense to score 17 straight points in the latter half of the first quarter; Emily Preston started the game-changing run with a lay-up and Erickson ended the flurry with a free throw at the 1:17 mark of the frame. Marina Ramon Lopez closed out the scoring with a lay-up as time wound under thirty seconds to play in the first.
Taliyah Hopkins started the scoring in the second quarter with an early lay-up but the Knights were playing catch-up for most of the frame. Three straight lay-ups by Tougas, Emer Moloney and Nalae Crosland brought Queens within a 37-20 deficit but Jillian Lynch hit a three-pointer to end the first half as STAC went into the break with a twenty-point lead. The scoring was quiet in the third quarter as Ramon Lopez hit the first field goal of the frame with 6:48 to go, bringing the Knights back within nineteen points at 41-22. Rowland knocked down a three-ball and Bonin converted a three-point play midway through the stanza in getting QC within a 44-28 deficit but the Knights could not get closer than fifteen points in the frame with STAC leading 50-35 after three. The fourth quarter was much of the same for the hosts, as the Spartans' lead never dipped below double-digits to coast to the win.
For the Knights, Bonin had a team-high 16 points while shooting 75% (6-of-8) from the field. Rowland added 13 points and five rebounds while Ramon Lopez was held in check; the senior from Spain scored just six points and pulled down seven rebounds. Tougas added five points, six assists and four rebounds while Moloney collected three assists as well.
STAC shot 56% (9-16) in the first quarter alone, cruising to a 43% (22-51) clip in the game. Erickson had a game-high 17 points with four rebounds and four assists while Bertolino added 12 points, seven steals and three assists. Preston collected six points with eight rebounds as Adiya Henderson and Chelsea Murphy each scored nine points for the Spartans.
Queens will now be on the road for a two-game stretch, with the Knights heading to Washington, D.C. on Saturday (Jan. 27) to face the Firebirds of UDC. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.