SPARKILL, N.Y. (Jan. 30, 2018) – Down eight at the half, the Queens College women's basketball team could not get a rally going in the second half of play as the Knights fell to Saint Thomas Aquinas by a score of 71-52 on Tuesday (Jan. 30) in Sparkill, N.Y.
Taliyah Hopkins led all scorers with 21 points as the junior guard added six rebounds to her total. Nalae Crosland had her best game in a Queens uniform, collecting her first career double-double with ten points and eleven rebounds while Marina Ramon Lopez added ten points, seven boards and three assists. Hopkins went 10-for-11 from the free throw line while Crosland pulled down nine offensive rebounds in 38 minutes of playing time off the bench.
The Spartans (18-3, 10-1 ECC) opened the game on an 8-0 run, feeding off the home crowd at Aquinas Hall as Emily Preston scored the first two points on a lay-up less than thirty seconds in. Jenna Erickson followed with a three-pointer and Adiya Henderson knocked down a jumper and a free throw to help STAC to the eight-point margin over Queens (9-10, 5-6 ECC). The next three minutes, however, belonged to the Knights as Hopkins and Ramon Lopez led a comeback 8-0 rally to knot the score with 3:41 left in the quarter. The teams traded buckets with Melissa Sadler scoring four points for STAC and Hopkins and Crosland getting four points for QC in the next minute-and-a-half of action. Following a three by Julia Winnik and a jumper from Henderson, Crosland knocked down a lay-up off a feed from Beth Bonin to end the first quarter with the Knights down 17-14.
Saint Thomas Aquinas then scored eight straight points in 90 seconds with a lay-up from Alex Bertolino preceding threes by Erickson and Winnik. STAC led 25-14 at this point but the Knights would not back off, coming within seven points a few minutes later thanks to free throws by Crosland. Chelsea Murphy hit a three-pointer for the Spartans to give the hosts a double-digit lead which increased to twelve points following a jumper by Preston midway through the frame. Later in the quarter, a Madison Amalia three put STAC up 35-23 with less than three minutes to go; the Knights scored the final four points of the half on a lay-up by Emer Moloney and free throws from Hopkins. QC trailed 35-27 at the halftime break with Hopkins scoring a game-high 11 points at that time.
STAC, however, iced the contest in the third quarter by going on an 11-0 run and holding Queens off the board for almost seven full minutes of play. Henderson and Winnik did much of the damage in the third quarter with a three-pointer from Beth Bonin and a free throw by Hopkins accounting for all four of the Knights' points in the frame. A trifecta from Erickson ended the third quarter with the Spartans ahead by 21 points, and the reigning ECC Player of the Week knocked down a three to open the fourth quarter as STAC led 55-31 within a minute of play in the final period.
Winnik led Saint Thomas Aquinas with 17 points and hit four three pointers as Erickson added 11 points and five assists. Preston had a monster performance with eight points and 14 rebounds as Henderson added nin3 and seven, respectively. The Spartans shot 46% (27-59) from the field while keeping Queens to just 33% (16-49) on its shots in the game.
The Knights return to action on Saturday (Feb. 3), hosting Molloy in a crucial ECC tie at Lucille Kyvallos Court at Fitzgerald Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m.