FLUSHING, N.Y. – On a night dedicated to recognizing the three seniors on the No. 14 Queens women's basketball team, Madison Rowland, Joya McFarland and MacKenzie Rowland, it was those three seniors who fittingly led the Knights to a 78-65 Senior Day victory over the University of Bridgeport on Wednesday night. The trio scored 70 of the team's 78 points. It was the 14th consecutive win for Queens, while the Knights also finished their home schedule with a perfect 12-0 record.
Madison had a game-high 28 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists and four steals to pace the Knights. She is now just one rebound away from 1,000 for her career. McFarland scored a career-high 21 points on an efficient 9-of-11 shooting while adding six assists and two steals as well. MacKenzie posted her third straight double-double and 17th on the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as well as adding five assists, four blocks and two steals.
With the win, the Knights clinched the East Coast Conference (ECC) regular season title along with the top seed in the ECC Championship. Queens has not lost a game in 2017, as the squad's last defeat came way back on Dec. 13 at American International College.
Once again, Queens had to play from behind for most of the first half, as Bridgeport led for all but 1:39 in the opening half. The Purple Knights used a 13-2 run to jump out to a 17-5 lead with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter, but the Knights finally got some offense going over the final 2:05, ending the period on an 8-0 run to pull within four at 17-13.
The two teams went back and forth to start the second quarter before McFarland and Madison Rowland gave Queens some momentum on offense, scoring 32 of the Knights' 34 first-half points. Down 29-22, McFarland scored the Knights' next seven points, including a three-point conversion on a layup and foul, drawing the score to 29-27. After a Bridgeport bucket, McFarland answered with a jumper, and Madison followed with a layup on an assist from McFarland to tie the game at 31 apiece. The two squads traded points over the final two minutes, as Bridgeport entered the break with a 35-34 lead.
The Knights finally took their first lead of the game 2:02 into the second half, 39-37, on a jump shot from Madison after McFarland tied the game on a three-pointer on the previous possession. Nicole Johnson would tie the game back up for Bridgeport at 41 all 1:57 later, but then MacKenzie Rowland made a layup while drawing a foul, converting a three-point play after the made free-throw and giving Queens a 44-41 lead. The Knights extended the lead to nine to close out the third quarter up 56-47.
The fourth quarter began slowly, as neither team could find a rhythm over the first four minutes of play, but things picked up quickly again for Queens behind its senior leadership down the stretch. After Samnell Vonleh brought the Purple Knights within five on a layup with 3:28 to go, MacKenzie scored six straight points to extend the lead to 11 with 1:45 to go. Queens went 6-for-6 on foul shots in the final 1:04, and that was all she wrote, as the Knights took the 78-65 victory.
Queens shot 50.8 percent overall and forced 22 Bridgeport turnovers, scoring 26 points off those turnovers. The Knights held the Purple Knights to just 15.4 percent shooting from three-point land.
The Knights will conclude their regular season schedule with a pair of conference road games. Next up will be a trip to LIU Post on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a 1:30 p.m. contest.