ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY – The Knights' desperate fourth quarter run was not enough to overcome a steep deficit as the team took its first tumble in East Coast Conference action on Wednesday, losing on the road to Molloy, 88-78.
Freshman Beth Bonin scored 17 of her game-high 27 points during the Knights' breathtaking run in the final frame, and senior MacKenzie Rowland added her third consecutive double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in defeat. Neither effort matched Molloy's balanced scoring with four Lions reaching double digits in scoring and the team connecting on a blistering 59 percent of their attempts from three-point range.
What was an even start to the game turned sour for the Knights after Molloy went on an 11-0 spurt that spanned four minutes in the opening quarter. Two inside scores by MacKenzie and Madison Rowland briefly steadied the tide, but even still Queens trailed 24-13 at the end of one.
Again there was some normalcy to begin the second when Emer Moloney's lay-in decreased the margin to single-digits. Another quick burst by the Lions, this time nine consecutive points in just over two minutes, stymied the Knights and put the score at 33-15 in favor of the home team. The deficit remained steady through halftime despite a pair of three pointers by Bonin, with the Lions ahead 43-26.
Out of intermission, Molloy was able to build their lead first to 20 and then later to 25 as the third quarter ended thanks in large part to two three pointers from reserve Kathryn Gibson and six points from Aliyah McDonald. MacKenzie was the Knights' lone bright spot in the frame, scoring 8 of her 21 points during that span.
Two more inside scores by McDonald had the Lions leading 69-40 with 8:37 remaining in the fourth before three pointers by freshmen Kammikia Barnes and Bonin started the Knights' final frenzy. Backs already against the wall, Queens willed their way to an extended 28-6 run behind hot shooting and sticky defense, forcing the Lions into six turnovers during a four-minute span. A Bonin three-pointer with just over two minutes to go narrowed the margin to 82-74. The Knights then got within six, 84-78, with just under a minute to go after junior Merrick Rowland stole the ball and got it up ahead to her sister Madison for a transition lay-in. That was the closest the team got, however, as Molloy was able to convert enough free throws to put the game out of reach and win by the final score of 88-78.
With the loss, the Knights slipped to 3-1 in conference play and now sport a 7-2 overall record. Molloy meanwhile improved to 2-1 in ECC action and 8-2 overall. Queens College will look to bounce back on Saturday, December 10, when they face District of Columbia at home in Fitzgerald Gym. Tip-off for that conference tilt is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.