For a work in progress, the Queens men’s basketball team is in pretty good form already.
The Royals opened their regular season Friday with a 101-83 victory against Armstrong State (Ga.) in the Peach Belt-South Atlantic Conference Tip-Off Challenge at Curry Arena.
“We’ve got a lot of new pieces and we’re still learning how to play together,” Queens coach Bart Lundy said. “But we played pretty well for long stretches, especially on defense.”
The Royals, playing for the first time since a 75-73 upset victory at Virginia Commonwealth in a preseason game on Nov. 4, shot 59.4 percent from the field and grabbed control of the game late in the first half.
Queens led 49-36 at the half and extended that advantage to a biggest lead of 24 points in the second half.
Three who mattered
Daniel Camps, Queens: Senior forward could be counted as a double-double threat most games last season and he hit the mark Friday, with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Also dished out four assists, all in the first half.
Todd Withers, Queens: Junior forward was only 1-for-4 from the field with four points in the first half, but finished with 18 points.
Jalin Alexander, Queens: Junior college transfer guard made an impact in his first game in a Royals uniform. Scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half.
▪ Armstrong State’s bench includes a guy who played 12 NBA seasons and scored more than 12,000 professional points. That would be assistant coach Cazzie Russell, 72, in his third season with the Pirates. The former Michigan star is best known for being a member of the 1970 and 1973 NBA champion New York Knicks.
▪ Junior forward Denzel Council led the Pirates with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and senior forward Jamison Jeffers added 20 points and 10 rebounds.
They said it
“When something like that happens to you, you worry that it might be too much too soon. But it’s done a lot for our confidence, and that showed up tonight.” – Lundy on the impact of the Royals’ win against VCU
The four teams in the Challenge will switch opponents Saturday. Queens will play Clayton State at 4 p.m. at Curry Arena. Armstrong State will play Anderson at 2 p.m. … This weekend’s games are the first of five straight at home to start the season for the Royals.