ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Feb. 16, 2018) – A two-point halftime lead turned into a gigantic swing on Friday (Feb. 16) as the Queens College men's basketball team saw an 18-point lead evaporate into dust before persevering to knock off Roberts Wesleyan by a final score of 70-59 at the Voller Athletic Center.
Queens (8-14, 6-9 ECC) is still alive in the East Coast Conference play-off picture and holds sole possession of sixth place in the league standings following Daemen's 102-98 double-overtime win over Molloy; meanwhile, Roberts Wesleyan (14-10, 7-8 ECC) now leads the Knights by just a game for fifth place in the conference standings while LIU Post has a one-game cushion over the Redhawks for fourth place.
Issac Grant and Elijah Bovell put QC ahead 4-0 in the first minute of play but Roberts answered with six straight before Dwayne Henry fed Grant for a jumper with four minutes played in the half to knot the score at 6-all. Down 10-6, Jelani Williams and Keenan Gorski hit back-to-back threes to put Queens up 12-10 but the Redhawks answered with Michael Bush scoring on a lay-up at the 12-minute mark of the first half. At the mid-point of the half, Justin Vaughan hit a three for the hosts to give Roberts a 17-14 lead; a lay-up by Vaughan with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half put the Redhawks up 19-16 and a bucket by Brad Williams a minute later kept the hosts ahead by three points at 21-18. Queens ended the first half on a 9-4 run in the next six minutes as a three from Tyrese Crosdale produced the final points of the first half with Queens up 27-25.
The Knights opened the second half on a 7-0 run with buckets coming from Jordan Curtis, Tyrone Hall (a three-pointer) and Dwayne Henry in just 90 seconds as QC led 34-25. The Redhawks broke the run with a bucket of their own but that only set off a 6-0 spurt led by Bovell and Kevin Buron as the first media timeout could not come soon enough for Roberts Wesleyan. The break in the action came at the 15:17 mark of the second half, but the Redhawks called a timeout less than one minute later after Crosdale and Buron scored five more points to put Queens up by a 45-27 margin with the run extended to an 18-2 edge. The good times lasted only briefly, however Roberts Wesleyan made its own staggering rally over the next seven minutes. With exactly that amount of time on the clock, the Redhawks had stormed back on a 21-3 edge to knot the score up at 48-all.
Jelani Williams knocked home a three-pointer with less than six minutes left in the half to give Queens a 51-49 lead but that would be short-lived as free throws from Roberts Wesleyan put the hosts up 53-51 one minute later. Tyrone Hall answered with a three-pointer to give QC a 54-53 lead and Buron followed with a lay-up as the Knights led 56-53 with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation. QC would persist on a 6-1 run over the next two minutes to rebuild its advantage to finally silence the Redhawks.
A spread offense has been the calling card for the Knights this season, and Friday's win was no exception. Buron had ten points off the bench in 19 minutes as Hall and Crosdale each collected an additional ten points apiece. Bovell had eight points, Jordan Curtis added four points and ten rebounds and Dwayne Henry had seven points and seven assists for the Knights. Roberts was led by Brad Williams' 14 points and 10 rebounds as Jean Toussaint also collected a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). Queens shot 42% (22-53) from the field and held Roberts under 30% (16-59, 27%) from the floor in the victory.
Queens will look to finish its Western New York road swing with a win over Daemen on Sunday (Feb. 18) at 3 p.m.