SPRINGFIELD, MA – The No. 20 Queens College women's basketball team tumbled in nonconference action, falling to American International, 71-60, on Tuesday evening. Senior Madison Rowland had 28 points to lead all scorers, as the Knights now sit at 8-3 with one game left to play before the holiday break.
A 5-0 run brought the Knights as close as four, 56-52, midway through the fourth, after falling behind by as many as 15 in the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets answered with six points from sophomore Dana Watts and increased their lead back to nine, 62-53, with just over three minutes remaining, which was enough to put the Knights away for good. Watts led her team in scoring with 26 points and added nine rebounds. Madison had 10 rebounds to go along with her game-high in points for the Knights, and after battling foul trouble through much of the first half, MacKenzie Rowland scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Playing on the road against an American International team who were winners of their last five, the Knights would have benefited from the strong start they had in their win over UDC over the weekend. Instead, the Knights struggled through poor shooting and were unable to capitalize on early miscues by their opponents. Despite turning the Yellow Jackets over six times within the game's first five minutes, Queens was unable to convert on the other end, missing eight of their first 10 shots. Compounding the team's woes, MacKenzie committed her second foul with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, and the Knights fell behind 18-8 without the reigning ECC Player of the Week. Madison then spurred a quick 5-0 run, first assisting on Kaitlyn Mahon's lay-in and converting an and-one score of her own to bring the Knights within five, 18-13 at the end of one.
The Yellow Jackets later extended their lead to 11 after four consecutive points from sophomore point guard Jayda Gilmore. Queens, meanwhile, continued to struggle from the floor, making only 11 of their 33 attempts in the first half. The Knights made it into halftime trailing 36-28, with their 14 points off turnovers keeping them within striking distance.
With MacKenzie back in the lineup to start the second half, the Knights still had a lackluster beginning to the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets scored six straight points to extend the lead back to double digits, before going up by their largest margin of 15, 45-30, after a three-pointer from sophomore Alyssa Guyon. Queens College rallied to start behind a three-pointer by freshman Beth Bonin and an inside score by MacKenzie, and eventually outscored the Yellow Jackets, 15-7, during the final 5:30 in the third period.
Then once Queens College clawed back within four in the final frame, the Yellow Jackets had a similar stretch and closed out the game by outscoring the Knights 15-8 over the final five minutes.
Queens returns to action on the road in another nonconference matchup against Franklin Pierce on Saturday, December 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.