BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – The Queens College men's basketball team secured a spot in the East Coast Conference (ECC) Tournament on Saturday night with an 84-72 road victory over conference foe LIU Post. The Knights earn their first postseason berth since the 2013-14 season.
With the win, Queens (13-11, 10-7 ECC) sweeps the season series against LIU Post (9-17, 8-8 ECC). The Knights, currently sitting sixth in the ECC standings, are ahead of the Pioneers in seventh and own the tiebreaker with just one game remaining in the regular season. Queens also swept the season series with District of Columbia (5th – 9-6 ECC), giving the Knights the tiebreaker over both the Firebirds and Pioneers, which guarantees them a spot in the six-team ECC Tournament.
Junior Simon Green led the Knights with 18 points, four assists and three steals. Freshman Kevin Buron chipped in with a career-high 11 points and four rebounds, while senior Tyree White tallied 10 points and nine rebounds. The Pioneers were led by Jared Hall's game-high 20 points and six rebounds, while Greg Dotson contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
The Knights came out of the gate sluggish, falling behind 9-2 with barely three minutes gone, and a Kyle McLeggan three-pointer extended the Pioneers' lead to eight (12-4) with 14:52 still left in the first half. However, Queens answered back with a 10-0 run over the next two minutes, and a Diego Maldonado three-pointer gave the Knights their first lead of the game, 14-12.
Following a Knights turnover, Aary Bibens' three-pointer gave the Pioneers the lead back, 18-17, with 9:53 left in the first half. With Green and Buron leading the charge, Queens opened the floodgates of a 17-2 run to take complete control of the game, as the Knights retook the lead, 34-20, and remained on top for good. McLeggan made back-to-back three-pointers for the Pioneers before the close of the first half, but Queens held a solid 43-31 advantage.
The second half started with both teams trading buckets, as the Pioneers refused to wilt on their home court. Hall Elisias knocked down two free-throws to bring the Pioneers within five (59-54) with 11:59 remaining in the second half. A layup by Dotson brought LIU Post within three (65-62) with 6:18 left to play before junior Tyrone Hall hit a three-pointer off a steal by Green, extending the Knights' lead back to six, 68-62. Hall's three started a 9-0 run for Queens, and the Knights fought off the Pioneers' comeback attempt, picking up the road win.
Queens held LIU Post to 38.1 percent shooting, while the Knights shot at a 47.4 percent. The Knights converted 19 points off of 14 Pioneer turnovers and held the advantage in rebounds (41-34), assists (16-10) and bench points (41-16).
The Knights conclude the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 22, as Queens travels to Buffalo, N.Y. to face the Wildcats of Daemen College (16-8, 10-6 ECC) with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m. In their first matchup of the season back on Jan. 11, the Wildcats defeated the Knights, 75-62, behind Arif Mehmetaj's 21 points. White led the Knights with 18 points and 10 rebounds.