GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – In a dominant defensive performance, the second-seeded Queens College women's basketball team rolled past seventh-seeded Assumption College, 69-48, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon. The victory also marked the 100th win for head coach Elizabeth Naumovski at Queens.
Senior Madison Rowland led the way with a game-high 28 points, while chipping in eight rebounds. Rowland also reached another milestone, setting a new program record for points in a season. She has now totaled 632 points this season, breaking her old mark of 607 points set during the 2014-15 season.
Additionally, it was the 25th win of the season for Queens, which is a new program record for victories in a season.
Senior Joya McFarland made a three to give the Knights an early 5-3 lead, but Queens fell behind, 10-5, with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. Then junior Merrick Rowland provided the spark off the bench for the Knights, tallying five quick points to tie the game up at 10 apiece with 3:20 left in the period. Queens took a 16-10 lead in the final minute after consecutive baskets made by redshirt senior MacKenzie Rowland before an Allison Stoddard layup pulled Assumption within four at the end of the first quarter, 16-12.
The Knights began the second quarter on a 6-0 run, forcing an Assumption timeout after back-to-back jumpers by Madison put Queens up, 22-12, with 6:44 to go in the quarter. It marked a 17-2 run for the Knights that spanned 8:11 after they trailed 10-5 midway through the first period. Assumption came back within five at 22-17 with 3:41 until half, but Madison and Merrick led Queens on a 9-3 run to go up by 11 with 13 seconds left. Kelly Carey drained a three-pointer at the buzzer for Assumption to draw the halftime score to 31-23 in favor of the Knights. Madison totaled 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting with six rebounds in the opening half to help Queens to the halftime advantage.
Madison picked up right where she left off to start the third, scoring the first seven points of the second half for the Knights, as her three-pointer 2:29 in gave Queens a 12-point lead, 38-26. The Knights then pushed the lead to 15 with 4:18 left in the third after Merrick and freshman Beth Bonin each connected from deep. Madison then kept firing, scoring seven points in a row, followed by a three by Merrick, as Queens stormed out to a 25-point lead with 1:58 to go in the third to cap a 16-0 run. Assumption finally ended the run with 1:02 to go, but Queens held a 59-36 lead after the third.
The Knights shot 64.7 percent overall and went 5-for-9 from downtown in the period. Madison scored 14 points in the third quarter alone.
Queens cooled off a bit in the fourth quarter, but the damage had already been done. The Knights held the Greyhounds to an 0-for-4 showing from three-point land in the final period and maintained a 20+ point advantage for nearly all of the fourth quarter, finishing off a 69-48 win.
Merrick added 14 points and was 3-for-5 from deep off the bench for Queens. Bonin tallied 10 points, while MacKenzie finished with seven points, 12 rebounds and five assists. The Knights forced Assumption into 20 turnovers and capitalized with 23 points off those turnovers. Queens shot 44.6 percent overall and 46.7 percent from three, while limiting Assumption to 37.5 percent shooting.
Queens advances to the East Regional Semifinals, where they will play the University of the Sciences at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, at Adelphi University's Center for Recreation and Sports.