Queens ral­lies, sal­vages NCAA re­gional vic­tory

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY STEVE LYTTLE Cor­re­spon­dent

Top-seeded Queens did just enough right down the stretch Satur­day even­ing and sal­vaged a 76-72 vic­tory over Em­manuel in the first round of the NCAA Di­vi­sion 2 South­east Re­gional.

The Roy­als won de­spite a cold-shoot­ing night and foul trou­bles that kept South At­lantic Con­fer­ence Player on the bench for big chunks of the game.

Queens (29-4) will play at 7:30 p.m. Sun­day at the Levine Cen­ter, in the semi­fi­nals against the win­ner of Satur­day night’s fi­nale, be­tween Catawba and UNC Pem­broke.

Willett picked up his fourth per­sonal foul with 10:28 re­main­ing and the score tied at 52.

Em­manuel then went on a 9-1 run, tak­ing a 61-53 lead on a stick-back by Brandon Simp­son with 7:51 re­main­ing.

A key play in the come­back came with 6:05 left, when Queens fresh­man Jer­maine Pat­ter­son scored on a driv­ing layup and was fouled. He made the free throw, clos­ing the gap to 61-58. Willett re-en­tered the game at that point and had a key role down the stretch.

He stole the ball and scored on a dunk with 5:30 re­main­ing, cut­ting Em­manuel’s lead to 61-60. Willett put the Roy­als ahead 67-65 on a jump shot with 2:36 re­main­ing.

Queens made it in­ter­est­ing in the clos­ing min­utes, miss­ing five straight free throws. But Van Turner Jr., Daniel Carr and Jer­maine Pat­ter­son each made a pair of foul shots in the fi­nal 30 sec­onds, and the Roy­als hung on.

The Roy­als hit 0-of-10 3-point field-goal at­tempts in the first half, were out­re­bounded 23-16 and played much of the half without Willett.

Re­serve Blake Mor­row was a big rea­son why Queens stayed in the game in the open­ing 20 min­utes. He en­tered the game with the Roy­als down 11-4 and 15:59 left in the half. Over the next six min­utes, Mor­row scored 10 points and sparked an 18-1 Queens run.

That put the Roy­als up 22-12, but Em­manuel slowly bat­tled back.

Willett, who picked up his sec­ond foul just six min­utes into the game, re-en­tered with 4:35 left in the half but was whis­tled for his third foul two min­utes later.

The half ended with Em­manuel’s Austin Greene bank­ing an off­bal­ance 3-point shot into the basket, putting the Li­ons up 33-32.


Blake Mor­row (Queens): He scored all of his 10 points in the first half, and it helped keep the Roy­als in the game when they were hav­ing all kinds of other prob­lems.

Jer­maine Pat­ter­son (Queens): A fresh­man re­serve guard, Pat­ter­son came up big, scor­ing a team-high 16 points.

Austin Greene (Em­manuel): The Li­ons’ point guard was a thorn in Queens’ side all night, scor­ing 24 points. He fouled out in the fi­nal minute, tak­ing away one of the Li­ons’ key 3-point shoot­ing threats.

What’s next?

Queens plays at 7:30

p.m. Sun­day in the South­east Re­gional semi­fi­nals, fac­ing ei­ther Catawba or UNC Pem­broke.

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