FLUSHING, N.Y. – Already thriving from a first half of shooting 13-of-17 from three-point range, Queens College men's basketball punctuated their 100-76 conference victory over LIU Post on Saturday without a minute having gone by in the second half.
Coming off a loose ball turnover, Marquis Roberts arched a lob pass toward the hoop with Tyree White soaring to meet the ball at its climatic peak. White grabbed hold of the ball and thundered it home through contact for a three-point play. The crowd in Fitzgerald was uproarious, the Knights' bench in hysterics. The highlight play, in a game filled with them, gave the Knights their largest lead to that point, 60—31, and effectively sealed the outcome of the game with nearly a half of basketball left to play.
The Knights electrified the afternoon crowd filled with children and teenagers from local schools and programs attending Queens College's "Take a Kid to the Game' doubleheader all afternoon with an astonishing array of shooting, athleticism, and effort on their way to scoring 100 points for the second time this season. They bludgeoned the Pioneers with their volume and efficiency from deep, connecting on 16 of their 25 attempts from three-point range, and 55 percent on all of their field goals. Senior Diego Maldonado was the forerunner of Queens' prowess, scoring a team-high 22 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three and 7-of-12 overall. Five other Knights scored in double-digits, with senior Malcolm Moore leading the bunch with 13 points and six assists. Marquis Roberts, Tyrone Hall, Simon Green and White each had 12.
Consecutive three-pointers to start the game from Roberts rushed Queens to a 6-0 advantage with a little over a minute having passed. Still leading 25-16 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Knights throttled ahead on a 24-5 run, which extended the lead to 28 after a jumper by Maldonado made it 49-21 with 2:53 to go. The Pioneers salvaged four of those points before halftime thanks to leading scorer Jemal Mosley, but the Knights held a commanding 55-31 advantage at intermission.
And then came the literal hammer. White's alley-oop was part of an 11-0 run to start the second half, widening the margin to 66-31 with 17 minutes remaining. The Knights' brilliance on offense had a ripple effect on the team's defensive effort all game, which was accentuated over the three-minute span coming out of halftime. Playing with the massive lead, the Knights maintained their defensive intensity by walling off the paint, finishing defensive plays with rebounds in traffic and pressuring passing lanes to the tune of four forced turnovers during the opening stretch. Queens College generated 15 turnovers in all, scoring 28 points off those added opportunities, and further limited the Pioneers to 43 percent shooting from the floor and a lower 27 percent from three.
Apart from a 13-0 run spanning the middle of the second half, Post showed little resolve fending off the Knights' high-octane attack. Maldonado squelched the Pioneer's run with his fourth three-pointer of the game, which made it 77-48. Queens College's lead climbed to as many as 38 before the game was through, eventually winning by a final score of 100-76.
Mosley was the game's high-scorer with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, providing one of the few bright spots for a Pioneers team that fell to 4-4 in ECC play and 5-12 overall. Queens jumped back over .500 with the victory, now standing at 5-4 in conference action and 8-8 on the season.
The Knights stay at home for next Saturday's conference matchup with conference foes NYIT. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to cap Queens College's "Play for Pat" doubleheader, in which both basketball teams will honor the lives of legendary college head coach Pat Summitt and cherished former-Knight Patrick Parker.