ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Queens College men's basketball team outlasted Roberts Wesleyan College for a 65-62 road win Wednesday night, holding off the Redhawks' last-minute comeback attempt in East Coast Conference (ECC) action. Queens improves to 12-9 overall and 9-5 in ECC play, the most wins for the Knights since the 2010-11 season, when they went 20-8.
Senior Diego Maldonado scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and went 3-for-6 from three-point territory to pace the Knights. Meanwhile, fellow senior Tyree White gathered his 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds to go with three steals.
Despite leading by as many as 21 points in the second half, the Knights had to convert from the free-throw line down the stretch to fend off the pesky Redhawks.
It looked like it was going to be a one-sided affair early on, as the Knights seemed to have full control. Maldonado hit a three-pointer to give the Knights a 15-4 lead 7:06 into the first half, and another Maldonado triple pushed the lead to 25-10 with 8:50 to go in the half. The Redhawks finally answered the call with a 15-2 run, lasting over six minutes and making it a two-point game at 27-25 with 3:34 left until halftime. Queens rebounded with the next six points and eventually entered the break with a 33-28 lead.
The Knights started the second half on fire, scoring the first 16 points of the half to take their largest lead of the game, 49-28, with 14:47 to go in the contest. White scored nine of the Knights' 16 points during that stretch and registered 13 points and nine rebounds in the second half alone. Roberts Wesleyan immediately went on a run of its own, however, scoring eight straight points to cut the lead to 49-36 with 10:28 on the clock.
The Redhawks slowly chipped away at the lead over the next 8:05, pulling within seven at 59-52 on a jumper by Manny Joseph with 2:23 to go. Joseph's shot started a 9-0 run for Roberts Wesleyan, which was capped by a layup from Isaiah Lewis, who tied the game at 59 apiece with just 58 seconds left.
On the next possession, senior Marquis Roberts made the play of the game for Queens, drawing a foul while placing home a layup and converting the old-fashioned three-point play to put the Knights ahead, 62-59. Junior Simon Green made a pair of foul shots before the Redhawks' Quinn Carey drained a triple to make it 64-62, but White's free-throw with seven seconds left pushed the lead back to three. The Redhawks had a chance to tie, but Joseph's three-pointer at the buzzer went off the mark, giving Queens the 65-62 road victory.
Roberts tallied 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and added three assists. Queens held Roberts Wesleyan to just 32.8 percent shooting overall and 15.8 percent from downtown.
The Knights will return home to Fitzgerald Gym on Saturday, Feb. 11 for a 1:30 p.m. showdown with St. Thomas Aquinas College, the top team in the ECC.