FLUSHING, N.Y. (Dec. 30, 2017) – Sophomore forward Isaac Grant scored 17 points in the first half and the Queens College men's basketball team overcame second-half shooting woes to fend off UDC on Saturday (Dec. 30) at Fitzgerald Gymnasium by a final score of 82-77.
Queens (3-6, 1-1 ECC) started the contest on a 9-2 run despite UDC's Traevon Butler making the first basket of the game. The Knights were on fire from deep with Tyrese Crosdale, Grant and Jelani Williams all hitting three-pointers within the first four minutes of the half. UDC (1-10, 0-4 ECC) rallied back with a 7-0 answer to knot the score up at 9-all but Queens soldiered on with a 12-0 spurt of their own to lead 21-9 with 13:30 to play in the half. Grant had seven of the points in that run, with Tyrone Hall accounting for a three-pointer and Elijah Bovell starting things off with a jumper of his own. The Firebirds got as close as six points down but never managed to cut the deficit further in the first half, as Queens ended the first twenty minutes hitting 75% (9-12) of its three-pointers and 62% (18-29) of its field goals overall.
The Knights opened the second half at the polar opposite of where they ended the first half, opening the final period of regulation with a 1-for-6 start from the field. UDC, meanwhile, was not efficient from the field but the Firebirds caused enough turnovers to pester Queens and bring the game back within six points at the first media timeout. The Knights built the lead back up to double digits with 7:25 to play in the half at 65-55, but the visitors refused to go away. UDC brought the contest back within three points at 67-64 after a three-pointer by Traevon Butler with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Butler knocked in another three-pointer after a pair of free throws by Hall; the Knights were clinging to a 68-67 lead at that point in the contest. The crucial moments came for QC with Grant knocking down a pair of free throws and Crosdale hitting a jumper to put the Knights up by five at 73-68 with 2:18 remaining in regulation. After a lay-up by Danny Shand, the Knights had the ball with a three-point lead. Simon Green drove into the lane for a lay-in, but the attempt was no good. However, Grant was there to pick up the pieces and tip the ball into the bucket to put QC back up by five points at 75-70. Free throws settled it the rest of the way as the Knights outlasted their conference opposition.
Grant led all scorers with 23 points and also contributed eight rebounds in the victory while Hall added 22 off the bench. The two combined to go 13-for-19 from the field, with Hall knocking down all eight of his free throw attempts in the win. Crosdale added 11 points and eight boards and Buron chipped in with seven points and eight rebounds of his own.
Leading UDC was Khalil Jackson (18 points) as Butler added 17 in the effort. Maurice Waters chipped in 10 points in 19 minutes of playing time for the Firebirds.
Queens College opens the New Year with a 7:30 p.m. tip against NYIT at Fitzgerald Gymnasium.