BY DANIEL OFFNER
After a triumphant 16-point comeback in the second-half of the East Coast Conference Championship, the Queens College Women’s Basketball team defeated New York Institute of Technology in a 65-63 nail biter. They now advance to the NCAA Division II Championship against Stonehill College.
In the early goings of the game, things were looking good for the Knights, until the last 12-minutes of the first half, when NYIT would pull ahead to lead 39-23.
Led by sisters, MacKenzie and Madison Rowland, who each had a double-double in the game, the Knights rallied a comeback in the second half to pull Queens College within two points of victory.
Trailing by two, with 24 seconds left, more defensive pressure led Madison to steal the ball and get the game-tying basket. Point guard Joya McFarland would cap off the game with a pair of free throws, with less than 11 seconds on the clock, bringing the final score to 65-62.
After defeating four regionally-ranked opponents, the Knights went on to defeat NYIT and reach the D-II NCAA Championship for the second time in school history. The win also marks a back-to-back 20-win season for Queens College – the team’s first in 30 years.
MacKenzie Rowland, a junior, finished the season second in scoring for the team, was voted All-ECC Second Team and was selected to participate on the ECC All-Tournament team. Meanwhile, her younger sister Madison, a sophomore, had one of her best years in school history.
Madison became the ninth player in school history to achieve 1,000 career points. She also led the nation in steals per game, led the sophomore class in scoring, was chosen All-ECC First Team, ECC Player of the Year and earned the Most Outstanding Player award for her performance in the ECC Championship game.
The Knights are currently seeded No. 5 in the East and go on to face Stonehill College at Adelphi University on March 13. The winner of that game will go on to play either No. 1 seed Adelphi or No. 8 seed Holy Family University on March 14.
Reach Daniel Offner at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, email@example.com, or @DanielOffner.