BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Madison Rowland scored a game-high 29 points and Merrick Rowland added a season-high 17 points off the bench to lead the Queens College women's basketball team over conference foe Bridgeport by the final score 79-62 on Wednesday evening.
The Knights, now on a three-game winning streak, improved to 5-1 in East Coast Conference play with the win and 11-3 overall. Both Rowlands scored the ball efficiently, hitting on 60 percent of their looks with Merrick knocking down a season-high five three-pointers to provide a spark off Queens' bench. Teammates MacKenzie Rowland and Beth Bonin also scored in double-figures with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Bridgeport was able to keep the score close through the game's first three quarters, but Queens outdistanced their opponents during the pivotal fourth by outscoring the Purple Knights 28-15 during the game's final ten minutes. Starting with Merrick's fourth three-pointer on an offensive second-chance to begin the quarter, the Knights rolled on an extended 11-2 run to take a commanding 62-49 lead with 6:22 remaining. Free throws down the stretch enabled Queens to inflate their lead to 17 and win by the final score of 79-62.
The unbalanced fourth quarter opposed much of the game's early cadence. Bolstered by Madison scoring 10 of her game-high 28 points in the opening frame, the Knights pounced to a 17-12 lead by the end of one. Bridgeport overcame their cold start with the help of junior co-captain Aurelie Leblanc-Florent, who drilled three triples and 5-of-6 overall during the second frame, to take a three-point lead into halftime, 30-33.
Madison scored the Knights' first six points out of intermission to keep Queens within three, 36-39, with 5:35 remaining, before Merrick and Bonin each took turns scorching the net to close the quarter. The sharpshooting duo scored the Knights' final 13 points, lifting Queens to a 51-47 lead at the end of three. Merrick connected on two three-pointers during the stretch, first to tie the game at 41, and the second to wrestle the lead back at 49-47. Queens then thrived off the positive momentum the two generated to take full command during the decisive fourth quarter.
Leblanc-Florent was Bridgeport's leading scorer with 21 points - 13 of those coming during the second period when her team bounced back to take a halftime lead. Senior co-captain Evelyn Ovner added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Purple Knights, who fell to 8-7 on the year and 2-3 in conference play following tonight's defeat.
Queens' stays on the road for their next game, Saturday's conference clash with current ECC top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas. Game time against the Lady Spartans is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.