OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (Feb. 28, 2018) – Through three quarters of action on Wednesday (Feb. 28), the fifth-seeded Queens College women's basketball team held serve and maintained its distance ahead of the fourth-seed NYIT Bears. However, the fourth quarter belonged to the hosts as New York Tech overcame a seven-point deficit to cruise to a 69-57 victory over the Knights at Recreation Hall in the first round of the East Coast Conference Tournament.
The Knights led 13-7 after one quarter of play thanks to a spread offensive attack led by Beth Bonin and Kaitlyn Mahon. The two guards combined for nine points with a Bonin three-ball seven minutes into the quarter giving QC an 11-4 lead. The Knights held the lead for much of the second quarter, as well, until NYIT stormed back with a vengeance. Back-to-back buckets by Shalie Frierson and Tiara Place brought the Bears up to a 21-19 lead and the teams entered the locker room even at 28-all after threes from Mahon and Nina Vukosavljevic cancelled each other out.
Queens opened the second half on a 7-2 run as a Bonin three gave the Knights a 35-30 lead midway through the third quarter of play. Later in the frame, Marina Ramon Lopez knocked down a jumper and the Knights held their largest lead of the game at 43-34 with two-and-a-half minutes to play in the third. A lay-up by Merrick Rowland ended the quarter with the Knights ahead by six points, 47-41.
The fourth quarter, unfortunately, was where NYIT made its move as the Bears opened the frame on a 13-0 run while QC went cold from the field; Jill Spagnuola had seven points in the spurt including a go-ahead trifecta just ninety seconds into the frame. Queens only took one shot in that time period, as the Knights committed six turnovers to help NYIT run out to a 54-47 lead. Ramon Lopez got Queens within a five-point deficit at the midway point of the quarter but a Spagnuola three with three-and-a-half minutes to go in the game put NYIT ahead by a back-breaking ten-point margin that proved to be too much to overcome.
Ramon Lopez starred for the Knights in her swan song game with a team-high 16 points on a stellar 8-for-11 shooting performance. The senior forward added six rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks to her account as well. Mahon shot 60% (6-10) from the floor with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists and Bonin had ten points as well. Queens shot 46% (26-57) from the floor but only 5-for-12 in the final quarter of play.
Vukosavljevic was the star for the Bears with a game-best 18 points to go along with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Spagnuola scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half while Maia Hood added nine points and seven rebounds.
NYIT went to the free throw line 22 times in the contest, hitting 19 of its shots for an 86% clip. Queens, on the other hand, was just 2-for-4 from the charity stripe.
QC (13-14, 9-9 ECC) was eliminated from the ECC play-offs with the loss while NYIT (18-11, 11-7 ECC) advances to the conference semifinals on Saturday against LIU Post at Roberts Wesleyan.