Queens men’s basketball coach Bart Lundy said he hopes that the 92-66 South Atlantic Conference thumping that Lincoln Memorial administered to his team on Saturday afternoon will end up being less about what happened and more about what the Royals do about it.
“It’s a situation we really haven’t been in this season,” said Lundy, whose team fell behind 20-3 in the first seven minutes and never caught up in this battle of NCAA Division II Top 10 teams at Curry Arena. “We’ve got to bounce back and play tougher, harder and smarter.”
The No. 6 Royals (24-2, 17-3 SAC) lost for the first time in nine games and for the first time this season at home.
Senior forward Sean Morgan scored 10 of his 14 team-leading points in the second half for Queens, which was doomed by poor shooting from the start. The Royals, who trailed 47-24 at halftime and by as many as 34 in the second half, shot just 28.6 percent from the field and were 4-of-26 from behind the 3-point arc.
Gerel Simmons scored 26 points and Jalen Steele added 16 for the No. 4 Railsplitters (24-2, 20-0), who haven’t lost since Jan. 2.
As decisive as the loss was for the Royals, it’s likely to have minimal impact on the conference standings, where Lincoln Memorial has already clinched first place and Queens remains two games ahead of third-place Wingate with two SAC games remaining.
Getting to the free throw line 40 times in a game is usually a good formula for success, but even hitting 30 of them didn’t do the Royals any good in this game.
Three who mattered
Gerel Simmons, Lincoln Memorial: The senior guard hits a lot of big shots for the Railsplitters and he hit several in their opening run to get control of the game early. Made 3-of-6 three-pointers.
Luquon Choice, Lincoln Memorial: The other half of Lincoln Memorial’s one-two scoring punch, Choice was also 3-of-6 from behind the arc and had a game-high 8 rebounds.
Jared Hendryx, Queens: The 6-foot-8 junior forward from Durham averages just about 5 points a game off the bench for the Royals. But he was the first – and for a long time the only – player in double figures for Queens, finishing with 12 points, including 6-of-8 from the free throw line
They said it
We weren’t prepared to play as tough as they did, and I’ll take the bullet for that. In fact, we probably over game-planned. We thought if we could take the three-pointer away we’d have a good chance, then they made layups.” — Lundy
Queens recognized the 1995-96 men’s basketball team, the first Royals’ squad to earn an NCAA tournament bid, at halftime. Head coach Dale Layer and nine of his players attended.
The Royals close their home schedule with an 8 p.m. SAC game Wednesday against Lenoir-Rhyne for Senior Day.