WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Queens College men's basketball team dropped their final game of the year in a nonconference matchup against New Haven on Friday afternoon, 83-61. Seniors Tyree White and Diego Maldonado led the team in scoring with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Knights slid to 6-6 on the season with the loss, while New Haven improved their overall record 7-5. The Chargers established their lead early on behind great shooting and crowding the Knights' driving lanes on defense. Even with more aggression in the second half, Queens were unable to exert real pressure on their opponents as the Chargers applied a steady dose of inside-out play to pull firmly away.
New Haven had a powerful offensive start, hitting on 11 of their first 14 shots from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range. Freshman Elijah Bailey's three-pointer with 7:30 remaining in the first half gave the Chargers a 13-point advantage, 32-19. Queens then had a few opportunities to cut into the deficit during a lull in the Chargers' offense, but aside from Maldonado who drained three three-pointers in the opening half for 11 points, they were unable to make a real impression in the opposing defense. Junior Danny Upchurch used a quick first step to burst into the lane and his ensuing finish at the rim gave New Haven their largest lead of the first half, 42-27, which held into halftime.
The Knights were noticeably more aggressive moving the ball inside coming of intermission. Freshman Issac Grant secured position for two scores at the rim and White drew a pair of fouls in his forays into the lane to help Queens move within 10, 46-36. The Chargers restored their halftime margin after a three-pointer and free throws pushed the score to 53-37. The Knights were then able to reduce the lead to 13 after Simon Green's three from straight on emerged out of an out of bounds play. It was as close as they came, though, as New Haven edged further ahead by converting on most of their free throw attempts in what was a closely officiated second half. The Chargers went on to reach their widest margin after a hoop and the harm converted by freshman Elijah Bailey made it 76-52 with 5:07 remaining. Neither team moved the needle much from that point, and New Haven held on to win by the final score 83-61.
New Haven was steered by sophomore Michael Bourke's game-high 20 points. In what was illustrative of the Chargers' overall efficiency, Bourke connected on three of his five three-pointers, and all seven of his free throw attempts. As a team, New Haven shot 54 percent from the floor and 23-of-25 from the free throw line. The Knights' efforts were guided by the aforementioned White and Maldonado but were ultimately undone by poor three-point accuracy, having only connected on six of their 24 attempts as a unit.
The Knights remain on the road for their next game, a conference tilt against Bridgeport on Wednesday, January 4. Game time at the Purple Knights' Hubbell Gym is set for 7:00 p.m.