Women's Game Recaps #75 - 3/13/17

* Behind the play of Most Outstanding Player Madison Rowland (24 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists) and MacKenzie Rowland (20 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks), Queens defeated Molloy to win the Division II East Regional title for the first time in their history, 70-60. The Knights prevailed in the first-ever ECC vs. ECC regional championship game by owning the glass (50-30, including an offensive rebound total of 22) and snaring the lead for good in the first quarter. The Lions, competing in a regional final for the first time, held an early 6-3 lead but Queens ended the first period on a 9-2 run to hold a 12-8 edge after ten minutes. The surge continued into the second period with a 10-1 spell, making it a 22-9 game (5:21), handed the Knights a solid margin. Despite two early fouls, Madison Rowland notched a dozen points in what was a 19-3 binge overall, and her team never trailed again. Molloy did rally by scoring the next nine points (Queens led 22-18 with 3:02 left in the half) but the Knights, the #2 seed, ended the half on an 8-2 surge (Madison Rowland had six of the points) to tote a 30-20 lead into the break. Queens managed to extend the lead to fourteen points a few times in the third period, which ended 52-41 in their favor. The #5-seed Lions had one final push in them, shaving the QC lead to 63-58 with 1:31 left on a basket from Shantana Kanhoye (9 points in 15 bench minutes) and a pair of Symone Kelly (14 points, 5 boards) free throws. MacKenzie Rowland (who registered her Division II-best 22nd double-double of the season) had the answer, scoring at one end (65-58) and rejecting an Aliyah McDonald (23 points, 6 rebounds) shot at the other end. Kaitlyn Mahon (11 points off the bench) dropped in two free throws after that (:43) to make it 67-58 and essentially sealed the deal. Queens had the upper hand from the field (41%-37%) and in second chance points (21-4) to highlight their paint dominance. Molloy stayed in touch at the line (13-14 FT; QC 13-20 FT) and they forced six more turnovers (19-13) but didn't take full advantage of the latter stat (14-14 in points-off-turnovers). Nonetheless, the Lions enjoyed the best season in program history (24 wins, an ECC title and a trip to the Sweet 16) so they have plenty to celebrate. With the victory, the Knights became only the second #2 seed in the current eight-team regional format (fifteen years) to win the East title, joining New Haven (2015) in that category. Queens will carry the East Regional flag at the Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio, starting a week from today (Tuesday, March 21) against an opponent to be named.