FLUSHING, NY – Senior Tyree White had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead four Knights in double figures in Saturday's convincing conference win over District of Columbia, 72-56, at Fitzgerald Gymnasium.
Malcolm Moore joined White in double figures with 12 points, and also added five assists and three steals. Senior Diego Maldonado connected on two three-pointers and all of his free throws to reach 13 points, and senior Kyheim Chaplin scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. The Knights outshot their opponents by connecting on 46 percent of their overall field goals and shooting 10-of-23 from three-point range, none more crucial than the four coming in a game-changing stretch midway through the second half.
Though slightly shaky to begin the game, Queens College settled in behind their unselfish play. Five of the Knights' first six made field goals came off of an assist, and after falling behind 9-7, they went on a 12-2 run to take early command of the game, 19-10. All 12 of the points were made on three-pointers in what became an important harbinger of success for the Knights. The Firebirds were up to the task for this early run, however, rattling off ten straight points of their own to retake the lead, 20-19. Another three by White, already his second of the game with just over six minutes remaining in the half, stopped the Knights' bleeding and gave way to a back-and-forth end to the first half. Heading into intermission, UDC led 29-28.
Queens' effort in the second half was evident from their opening possession: three offensive rebounds finally paid off when Moore found Maldonado for a demoralizing three-pointer on a kick-out. Sophomore point guard Kasim Chandler did what he could to keep the visitors afloat;, scoring points and assisting on another of the Firebirds' baskets to match Queens' all-around contributions. Then the dam broke; the Knights went on a 16-0 run spanning less than five minutes of game time to take a 61-45 lead with 6:18 remaining. UDC missed all five of their shots during the stretch, while threes by Maldonado, Chaplin and junior Simon Green invigorated the Knights. A small 7-2 run put on by the Firebirds' leading scorer, Joseph Nickerson, was squelched by timely free throw shooting by the Knights' Marquis Roberts and Moore, and Queens College held on for a comfortable 72-56 victory.
The Firebirds, who were led by Nickerson with a game-high 18 points and Chandler with 12, stumbled to 2-1 in conference play and 3-5 overall. Queens jumped back over .500 in ECC play with their record now at 3-2 and are 5-5 on the season. Up next for the team is Tuesday's nonconference matchup at Felician. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.