LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA – Senior Diego Maldonado poured in a career-high 35 points to lead the Queens College men's basketball team to a non-conference victory over the Lions of Lincoln University in overtime 76-71 Tuesday evening. With the win, the Knights improved to 3-2 on the season, while the Lions dropped to 0-5.
The Knights struggled in the opening minutes, missing their first seven shots, while the Lions took an 8-0 lead. A Jordan Watson layup forced Coach Collier to take an early timeout to regather the team.
Coming out of the timeout, a Maldonado steal and layup on the fast break led to the opening bucket for the Knights with 14:59 left in the first half. QC continued to fight back as Lincoln pushed their lead to 10 (18-8) with 10:13 remaining. Maldonado forced the comeback by scoring the last 10 points of the first half for the Knights to cut the deficit down to two (33-31) at half. Maldonado scored 19 points in the first half, shooting 8-for-11 from the field.
Freshman Issac Grant's layup knotted the game at 33-33 in the opening 20 seconds of the second half. The Lions countered, as a Sean James three-pointer gave them an 11 point lead with 10:29 remaining in the second half. After senior Marquis Roberts' layup tied the game at 53 with 6:00 left, the remainder of the half was a tug of war as both teams exchanged leads.
A Joshua David free throw gave the Lions a one point lead, 64-63, with 56 seconds left on the clock forcing a QC timeout. After a foul by the Lions put senior Tyree White at the line with 10 seconds remaining in the game, White knotted the game at 64 before missing the second, unable to give the Knights a win in regulation.
In their second overtime game of the season, the duo of White and Maldonado took over as a White layup gave QC a 66-64 lead before a Maldonado three-pointer extended the lead for good with 3:41 left in OT. Maldonado opened the scoring for the Knights and closed out the scoring with a dunk with three seconds remaining in OT for a 76-71 win.
Maldonado posted a career-high 35 points shooting 11-for-15 from the field, 4-for-7 from long range. White and Grant continued their excellent form as both posted double-doubles. White posted 13 points (5-for-13 FG), 10 rebounds and handed out five assists, while Grant registered 14 points (7-for-9 FG) and 10 rebounds.
Roberts produced 10 points off the bench to help the Knights. The Knights shot 44.6% (25-for-56) on the night, while the Lions shot 31.9% (23-72) from the floor. The Lions committed 18 turnovers, which the Knights turned into 21 points.
UP NEXT: The Knights continue their road trip when they travel to Garden City, NY on Sunday, Nov. 27 to take on NE-10 foe Adelphi University Panthers for a 3:30 pm tip-off.
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