FLUSHING, N.Y. – For the first time in program history, the Queens College women's basketball team will play in the NCAA Division II East Regional Finals, as the second-seeded Knights take on fellow East Coast Conference (ECC) foe Molloy College, the No. 5 seed, on Monday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at the Center for Recreation and Sports on the campus of Adelphi University.
The East Regional is being hosted by Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., just about 11 miles from the Queens College campus. Ticket prices: $8 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens and children, $3 for students with valid school ID. For directions to Adelphi, please click here.
The winner of Monday night's regional title game will advance to the Elite Eight (National Quarterfinals) at Alumni Hall in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, March 21. The National Semifinals will take place on Wednesday, March 22, while the National Championship Game will be Friday, March 24 on the CBS Sports Network.
THE ROAD THROUGH THE EAST REGION
NCAA First Round/East Regional Quarterfinals
No. 2 Queens 69, No. 7 Assumption 48
The Knights dominated on the defensive end, rolling to a 21-point victory over the Greyhounds in the opening round. Madison Rowland scored a game-high 28 points and chipped in eight rebounds. Junior Merrick Rowland added 14 points and was 3-for-5 from deep off the bench for Queens. Freshman Beth Bonin tallied 10 points, while redshirt senior MacKenzie Rowland finished with seven points, 12 rebounds and five assists. The Knights forced Assumption into 20 turnovers and capitalized with 23 points off those turnovers. Queens outscored Assumption, 28-13, in the third quarter and shot 64.7 percent in the period.
NCAA Second Round/East Regional Semifinals
No. 2 Queens 77, No. 6 USciences 67
Once again, defense was key for the Knights in the Regional Semifinals, holding off the University of the Sciences (USciences) for a 77-67 win. Bonin scored a game-high 25 points and added six rebounds, while Madison added 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go with seven rebounds, five steals, four assists and three blocks. MacKenzie recorded her 21st double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, chipping in six assists as well. Queens jumped out to an early lead and held USciences to just 21.7 percent shooting in the first half. The Knights came out firing, shooting 61.5 percent overall in the first quarter, while limiting the Devils to just 20 percent shooting in the opening period.
ECC MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
Queens was rewarded with three of the four ECC major year-end awards on March 3. Madison was named ECC Player of the Year, the second of her career, last doing so during the 2014-15 season. MacKenzie was honored as the league's Defensive Player of the Year, while head coach Elizabeth Naumovski garnered ECC Coach of the Year. Both Madison and MacKenzie were also named to the All-ECC First Team.
- The Knights set a new program record for wins in a season with 26 thus far on the year, eclipsing the previous mark of 24 during the 2008-09 season.
- Madison has recorded milestone after milestone for the Knights this season. In the win over Assumption, she broke her own single season scoring record of 607 points and now holds the mark with 654 points thus far this season. Madison became the career leader in points and steals for both Queens and the ECC this season. She is currently in the top 20 in DII history with 2,332 career points and is among the top 5 in career steals with 495. Madison became the first player in program history with 2,000+ points and 1,000+ rebounds on Feb. 18 and currently has 1,051 career rebounds. Additionally, she broke her own program record for steals in a season with 139 thus far on the year.
- MacKenzie has also etched her name into Queens College history this season. She joined the 1,000-point, 1-000 rebound club on Jan. 14, one of only four players in program history to accomplish the task. MacKenzie is second in program history with 1,153 career rebounds and fourth in scoring with 1,701 career points. She is also fourth on the single season rebounds list with 333 this season.
- Naumovski achieved her 100th victory at Queens in the Knights' opening-round win over Assumption on Friday, becoming the first coach in school history to reach the milestone.
Madison leads Division II with 4.6 steals per game, which is second among all players regardless of division. She leads the ECC and is fifth in the nation in scoring average at 21.8 points per game. MacKenzie is second in the nation with 21 double-doubles on the season and has recorded one in seven of her last eight games. MacKenzie leads the ECC with 11.1 rebounds per game and is second in scoring at 17.4 points per game, while Madison is third in the conference with 10.2 boards per game. The two sisters are also both in the top 5 in the ECC in field goal percentage (Madison 51.1%, MacKenzie 49.8%). Bonin adds 11.4 points per game, while Merrick contributes 8.2 points per contest.
SCOUTING THE LIONS
Molloy enters Monday's regional final with a 24-8 overall record and is currently on a six-game winning streak. The Lions won the ECC Championship, 56-53, over NYIT on March 5 and finished second behind Queens in the regular season standings with a 12-6 conference mark. Graduate student Kamala Thompson leads the Lions with 15.4 points per game and is fourth in the ECC with 8.8 rebounds per game, while adding 1.5 steals. Senior Aliyah McDonald averages 14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game, while graduate student Symone Kelly adds 12.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Molloy downed Caldwell, 60-52, in the opening round behind Thompson's 16 points and 20 rebounds. McDonald and Kelly added 14 points each as well. The Lions then stunned top-seeded Adelphi, 59-58, as Thompson won it with a layup at the buzzer. McDonald, Thompson, Kelly and sophomore McKayla Hernandez all scored in double figures.
The Knights and Lions met twice during the regular season, splitting the series. Molloy handed Queens its only conference loss of the season, 88-78, back on Dec. 7 on the Lions' home court. Hernandez, Kelly, McDonald and freshman Kathryn Gibson all scored in double digits for Molloy. Bonin led Queens with 27 points, while MacKenzie had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Madison chipped in 18 points and nine steals. Molloy shot 50.8 percent overall, compared to just 36.8 percent for Queens. The Knights avenged the loss with a 73-58 home win in the last outing between the two squads. Madison posted 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Bonin and MacKenzie also reached double-figure points. McDonald led the Lions with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Knights forced the Lions into 21 turnovers and scored 20 points off those turnovers.
SERIES HISTORY VS. MOLLOY
2/1/17...vs. Molloy...W, 73-58
12/7/16...@ Molloy...L, 88-78
2/16/16...@ Molloy...W, 57-49
1/12/16...vs. Molloy...W, 62-50
2/24/15...vs. Molloy...W, 85-65
1/20/15...@ Molloy...W, 65-56
1/28/14...vs. Molloy...W, 69-57
11/30/13...@ Molloy...L, 70-66
2/13/13...@ Molloy...W, 61-56
1/12/13...vs. Molloy...L, 74-65 (OT)
Record vs. Molloy...
LAST 5: 4-1
LAST 10: 7-3