BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Queens College men's basketball team shot the lights out on Wednesday night, but it was not enough, as the Knights fell to the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights in the first round of the East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship, 85-74. The Knights fell despite shooting an impressive 62.2 percent from the floor in the game.
Queens concludes its season with a 13-13 overall record, the most wins for the Knights since going 20-8 during the 2010-11 season.
Seniors Marquis Roberts and Diego Maldonado led Queens with 14 points each. Roberts was 6-for-7 from the floor and 2-of-3 from three-point land with four assists and two steals. Fellow senior Tyree White tallied 13 points, five rebounds and three steals, while junior Simon Green scored 10 points. White scored in double figures in every game for the Knights this season.
Roberts scored the game's first five points to put the Knights up 5-0 early. Bridgeport gained its first lead, 12-9, on a three-point play converted by Carlos DeJesus 7:25 into the game. The two squads then went back-and-forth before a three by freshman Kevin Buron and a layup by Maldonado gave Queens a 20-14 lead. Bridgeport tied it at 23 all with 4:22 on the clock, but a Roberts three put Queens back on top just 23 seconds later.
After junior Tyrone Hall gave the Knights a 30-27 lead with 2:27 to go, the Purple Knights tied it at 30 apiece on a D'Vonne Trumbo triple and then took a 32-30 lead with 57 seconds until the break. Senior Kyheim Chaplin nailed a jumper to tie it with 16 ticks left, but Sharif Cobb hit a three just before the buzzer to give Bridgeport a 35-32 halftime lead.
The Knights and Purple Knights remained neck-and-neck throughout the first five minutes of the second half, and Hall finally tied it up again with a three-pointer 4:55 into the half, 43-43. The score remained tied at 47 all after a Green layup before Bridgeport went on a 7-2 run to take a five-point lead. The Purple Knights remained on top by five with 9:47 to go, but a layup by White and a free-throw by senior Malcolm Moore cut the deficit to just two at 58-56 with 8:46 on the clock.
Bridgeport scored the next six points to take an eight-point lead, and after White made a pair of foul shots to cut the deficit to five, DeJesus hit a big three to put the Purple Knights up eight once again with 5:28 left. That three started a 7-0 run for Bridgeport, as Queens fell behind, 73-61, with 4:16 to go. Five quick points by Maldonado brought the score to 73-66, forcing a Bridgeport timeout, but the Purple Knights made the next two baskets and went 8-for-8 from the line over the final 46 seconds to seal the 85-74 win.
Queens shot 28-of-45 overall and 7-of-13 from downtown, but the Knights' 20 turnovers proved costly, as Bridgeport scored 25 points off those turnovers. The Purple Knights held a 44-32 advantage in the paint and shot 84.6 percent from the foul line.
Bridgeport advances to the semifinals, while Queens sees its season come to an end. The Knights went 10-8 in ECC play this season, their best conference mark since 2012-13.