Royals outlast Bobcats, 70-57

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Melissa Thomas (Havelock, N.C.) poured in a game-high 26 points, and the Queens University of Charlotte women's basketball team won the battle on the glass by a 48-20 margin en route to a 70-57 victory over Lees-McRae College on Thursday night in Conference Carolinas play.

Queens (5-5, 4-0 CC) connected on 44.4 percent of its attempts from the floor on the night, including a 48.5 percent clip in the second half, while holding the Bobcats (1-8, 1-3 CC) to a 41.1 percent mark overall and a 37.9 percent showing in the first 20 minutes. The Royals also went a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line, while outscoring the Bobcats by a 16-4 margin in second chance points.

Janina Thurau (Berlin, Germany) paced a trio of Bobcats in double figures with 14 points, while Chloe Parker (Chicago, Ill.) and Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) recorded 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Patterson notched a game-high five assists and four steals, while Parker pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

Thomas connected on 8-of-13 attempts from the field, and went 8-for-8 at the charity stripe to post a game-high 26 points while also notching a contest-best four steals. Marissa Hudley (Charlotte, N.C.) posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, knocking down 7-of-15 shots from the floor. Shakaria Hamlin (Hartsville, S.C.) chipped in seven points and seven rebounds, while Erin Goldner (Matthews, N.C.) recorded eight points, three steals, and a team-high three assists.

Queens got off to a strong start, scoring 10 of the game's first 16 points to open a four-point lead on a Hamlin jumper at the 12:59 mark of the first half. Lees-McRae responded with a 5-0 spurt to claim a narrow 11-10 advantage on a Parker layup with 11:41 to play in the period.

After a quick basket by the Royals' Sarah Myatt (Burlington, N.C.), Flowers and Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) combined for a trio of three-pointers to propel the Bobcats to a 20-14 lead with 8:22 remaining in the first half. Queens answered with a run of its own, launching a 17-0 run to take a 31-20 advantage on a pair of free throws by Goldner at the 4:05 mark. The Royals would then close out the half with a 10-7 spurt to take a 41-27 lead into the intermission.

Lees-McRae opened the second half with two quick baskets by Parker and Patterson to cut the lead to 41-33, and stayed within single-digits for much of the next 12 minutes. With the scoreboard reading 60-53 in favor of Queens with just over five minutes remaining, the Royals took control, closing out the win with a 10-4 run to equal the final margin of 70-57 and remain perfect in conference play.

The Bobcats return to the court on Saturday when they host Mount Olive College to continue their conference schedule. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium on Take a Kid to the Game day.

- LMC -