AMHERST, N.Y. – Despite erasing a 13-point deficit to take a second-half lead, the Queens College men's basketball team dropped its final regular season game of the season at Daemen College on Wednesday night, 71-59. Already locked in for an East Coast Conference (ECC) Tournament spot, the Knights conclude the regular season and enter the postseason at 13-12 overall and 10-8 in conference play.
Senior Tyree White led the Knights with his 11th double-double of the season, posting 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and a steal. White has scored in double figures in every game for Queens this season. Fellow senior Kyheim Chaplin added 12 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Queens trailed for all but 3:12 in the first half, as Daemen took advantage of the Knights' eight first-half turnovers. The Wildcats jumped out to early leads of 13-4 and 23-12 midway through the opening half. Chaplin eventually cut the deficit to eight at 25-17 on a three-pointer with 5:49 until halftime, but Daemen followed with a 7-2 run to take its largest lead of the game, 32-19, with 3:09 left in the half. White and junior Tyrone Hall then scored the next eight points for Queens to come within nine at the break, 36-27.
White opened the scoring in the second half with a three to bring the Knights within six. After two quick Wildcat baskets, freshman Kevin Buron hit from deep to keep the Knights within seven at 40-33 just 1:19 into the half. Daemen would quickly push the lead back to double digits, however, after a pair of foul shots and a three by Arif Mehmetaj made it 45-33 just 3:43 into the second half.
That's when Queens rallied. White hit another three to spark a 16-3 run for the Knights, which was capped off by a three-pointer from senior Diego Maldonado, as Queens took its first lead of the game, 49-48, with 11:29 to go. Daemen quickly regained the lead, but junior Simon Green put Queens back on top by one with a layup with 9:47 on the clock.
The Wildcats then went on an 8-0 run to take control once again, however. After a pair of buckets from senior Marquis Roberts cut the deficit to six at 61-55 with 4:29 to go, Daemen ended the game on a 10-4 run to seal the victory.
Although the two teams shot an identical 41.7 percent from the floor, Daemen (17-8, 11-6 ECC) scored 16 points off of Queens' 13 turnovers in the game, while the Wildcats also held a 24-12 advantage in bench points.
Queens will hit the road next for the first round of the ECC Tournament on Wednesday, March 1. Depending on how the final standings shape up, the Knights will be seeded either fifth or sixth.