Queens’ men’s basketball team is on its hottest streak of the season as they start their most difficult stretch of South Atlantic Conference games. And so far, so good.
A 75-68 victory over Carson-Newman at Curry Arena was the first of five straight games against teams that were ahead of the Royals in the SAC standings when Saturday’s conference action began. The Royals have won four straight and five of their last six.
“We’re getting better at a good time to do it,” said Queens coach Bart Lundy after the Royals (7-5, 5-3 SAC) erased a nine-point halftime deficit against the Eagles (8-4, 5-3), who entered the game tied for second in the conference.
Senior guard Jarrett Stokes scored 20 points to lead five Royals players in double figures. Senior forward Josh Clyburn scored 15, senior forward Brent Evans added 13, and Nkosi Ali and Joby Glymph chipped in 12 each.
But the Royals had to clamp down defensively to finally put away Carson-Newman, which was led by Antoine Davis’ 21 points. The Eagles hit 7-of-15 3-pointers in the first half, which ended with them in front 37-28. But the visitors hit only 1-of-8 in the second half and shot 33 percent from the floor overall.
“We just had to come out and get stops in the second half,” Evans said. “They were killing us in the first half. We know we can score when we want to, but we’ve had to learn to trust each other more on defense. Today, we were working hard.”
Queens opened the second half on a 16-6 run, and at the end of it they had taken the lead to stay at 44-43 on a dunk by Ali off an inside pass from Evans with about 15 minutes to play.
The Eagles tied it at 46 on a 3-pointer by Reid Burke, but the Royals responded with an 11-2 run. Queens took its biggest lead at 67-55 on a pair of free throws by Glymph with 3 minutes and 24 seconds to play.
Carson-Newman scored the next eight points and pulled to within 67-63 on a layup by Davis with 55 seconds left, but couldn’t get any closer.
“It was the first time we’ve had a sustained effort and energy in a game,” Lundy said. “We’ve been good in spurts and we’ve let down in spurts so far. I was proud of the effort today.”
The Royals scored the game’s first nine points, but Carson-Newman rallied to make a back-and-forth game out of it for the second 10 minutes. The Eagles closed the half on an 11-2 run, including a pair of 3-pointers by senior guard Ishmael Sanders, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half.
Carson Brooks added 10 points for Carson-Newman, which had a two-game winning streak broken.
Notes: Queens’ next game is at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Wingate. … The next home game is at 4 p.m. Saturday against Lincoln Memorial, the current conference leader.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less