Women's basketball finishes stretch of three games in four days with 69-65 loss

Women's basketball finishes stretch of three games in four days with 69-65 loss

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team lost its second single-digit decision of the weekend on Sunday, dropping a 69-65 contest against Queens (N.Y.) College during the final day of the DoubleTree Tip-Off Classic in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights are now 1-2, having played all three of those games in the past four days, while the Knights improved to 2-1. American International College, which won Saturday's neutral-site game against Queens, 80-61, was the lone 2-0 team in the three-school tournament.

Senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) shot 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-3 at the charity stripe en route to totaling 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists for the Purple Knights, and first-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) had 11 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals and a block in 26 minutes as a reserve. Junior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) shot 5-of-6 for 10 points off the bench, and senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) totaled eight points and four helpers. Classmate Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) canned two three-pointers during a six-point, six-rebound day. Saint Michael's shot 53.2 percent for the game, including 73.9 percent during a second half that saw it go 17-for-23.

Queens first-year Madison Rowland (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker) led all players with 22 points and seven steals, and redshirt first-year MacKenzie Rowland (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker) posted 10 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. The Knights parlayed a 23-7 advantage on the offensive glass into a 12-0 edge in second-chance points. After shooting 1-of-8 on first-half free throws, Queens was 13-for-18 in the second stanza.

The Purple Knights scored seven straight early points to grab a 7-2 lead by 16:02 of the opening half, with Long scoring five. Saint Michael's still held a 9-6 edge before receiving scoring from three different sources in a 6-0 run, with Frappier's bucket making the score 15-6 by 11:45. Queens cut its deficit to six points before the hosts pushed the margin back to nine on a pair of Long free throws at 4:21, leaving the score 22-13. However, the Knights twice drew within three points, including on Madison Rowland's hoop just before the halftime horn. Saint Michael's held a 26-23 advantage at intermission, shooting 10-for-12 on free throws.

The second half took on a different offensive flow, as the teams combined for 50 points in the opening 12:57 after totaling 49 during the entire opening 20 minutes. The teams exchanged the lead four times while playing through two ties in the first 4:48, with Long scoring four points in a 7-0 run that gave the hosts a 37-32 edge by 14:14. However, three straight fast-break buckets by Madison Rowland capped an 8-0 stretch, giving the visitors a 40-37 advantage by 12:44. Six more lead changes ensued, as Saint Michael's eventually grabbed a 57-51 lead with 5:05 remaining thanks to an 8-0 run, with Evora scoring two fast-break buckets and assisting another in that stretch.

Shortly thereafter, Queens charged into the lead for good by scoring the next nine points thanks to six points by sophomore Joya McFarland (Bronx, N.Y./JFK). Evora's lay-in at 3:01 made it 60-59, and the Purple Knights had a chance to tie the game at 65 but saw two free throws fall off the mark with 30 seconds left. Down three, Saint Michael's tried a tying attempt with 19 seconds left that hit the front of the rim, and Queens made a free throw and converted a put-back to ice the game before the Purple Knights made a bucket at the buzzer.

Saint Michael's resumes play by opening Northeast-10 Conference action on Wednesday, hosting Franklin Pierce University at 5:30 p.m. The Ravens were receiving votes toward the USA TODAY preseason national poll.