Before Sunday’s matchup, the last game played between the Queens College women’s basketball team and the Southern New Hampshire Penmen took place on November 15, 1996—Bill Clinton was president, a gallon of gas cost $1.23, and most players on both rosters were not yet born.
That contest, which was also at SNHU, ended in a 69-49 Penmen victory. Queens (2-10) sought to right the ship for 2019, but a win on Sunday simply was not in the cards.
It was clear from the opening tip that SNHU (9-5) would set the tempo and control the action. Just seconds into the game, Penmen guard Karlee Ziliak drained a jumper that riled up the crowd and the rest of the first quarter was marked by a fierce SNHU defense that denied nearly all Knights’ passing lanes.
The tight coverage led to several turnovers that created easy fastbreak lay-ups for Southern New Hampshire. Despite short jumpers from guards Lucy Tougas and Nora Gabel, as well as a fancy hook shot from forward Analeza Edore, SNHU closed the quarter with a 25-10 advantage.
Guard Beth Bonin, who erupted for a game-high and career-high 34 points, opened the first minute and a half of the second quarter with a top-of-the-key jumper and then soon followed that up with a triple. This drew the Knights within 12, but just as a Queens run seemed imminent, the Penman employed a hounding half-court press that allowed only one point in the final five minutes of first-half action.
Superb ball movement, give-and-go plays, and hot shooting characterized the first half for SNHU. Outrebounded and dominated in the paint (the Penmen had 28 first-half points in the paint, the Knights only had 12), QC found itself down 49-22 heading into the locker room.
The Knights did a much better job of speeding up the tempo, forcing steals, and exploiting SNHU’s match-up zone in the third and fourth periods. Forward My’eesa Grant played tenaciously all day, racking up 16 points and collecting a game-high seven rebounds (tied with Edore).
Freshman forward Lakeisha Officer showed promise for the future by scoring six points and displaying an array of low-post moves. Bonin, though, was the story of the afternoon. She shot 11-for-21 from the field (6-15 from beyond the arc), was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, and dished out four assists.
The junior, who leads the team in scoring this year (11.4 PPG), played a major role in the Knights’ 34-point fourth quarter. For her efforts, Bonin was named the first East Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honor of the 2019 calendar year.
Overall, it was Penmen shooting that determined the outcome; SNHU connected on a scalding 49.3 percent of its field goal attempts and converted on 15 of its 16 foul shots, while the bench added 48 total points in the victory.
Queens will next travel to Rochester on January 11 to take on Roberts Wesleyan in an East Coast Conference match-up.