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Dunston shoots 15-for-19 in Lady Knights defeat

After missing her first three shots of the game, Queens College senior Kiki Dunston was one shot shy of perfect. The 5-foot-10 forward from John Bowne High School took the Lady Knights on her back and almost single-handedly guided them to a stirring victory Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, Dunston, who scored half of her team's points, was not enough. Philadelphia University used a balanced attack in its 82-60 win at Fitzgerald Gymnasium in the front end of a basketball double header.

"Probably, if I would have made those first three shots we would've won tonight," said Dunston, who had 30 points (15-19 from the field) and 14 rebounds. "But I guess you can't have it all the time."

While Dunston was a one-woman show for Queens (7-16, 5-14 New York Collegiate Athletic Conference), the Lady Rams received offensive output from a variety of sources.

Struggling with their shots early in the first half, Philadelphia University (15-7, 14-4) went to the basket, where they were fouled virtually every trip by the Lady Knights. The Lady Rams took the first 14 foul shots of the game, connecting on 11 to take a 17-6 lead with 9:13 left in the first half.

"We're big on trying to go at people," said Philadelphia University head coach Tom Shirley. "Instead of just catch and shoot, we want to try and go to the basket a lot."

The inside-outside game of senior center Theresa Carroll and senior guard Karen Wusinich, who are one-two in the NYCAC scoring lead, killed the Lady Knights in the first half. Carroll had 14 and Wusinich added 10 as the Lady Rams went into the locker room ahead, 38-25.

"That's the plan," Shirley said. "We want a lot of pick and rolls with Wusinich, a lot of post-up for Carroll. That's kind of how we want to play."

After playing man-to-man defense in the first half, Queens College coach Jerry Ingenito switched to a triangle-and-two, which all but negated the Lady Rams two superstars.

While Queens may have found an answer for Carroll and Wusinich, there was none for Dunston, who was unstoppable on the baseline. Dunston's ninth straight field goal, a baseline floater with 9:20 left in the second half, capped a 12-3 run that brought the Lady Knights to within eight, 53-45. After Dunston scored on a putback of a missed April Gross free throw, Queens was down by just seven, 57-50, with 7:04 to go.

Enter Adrienne Reese. The sophomore guard scored 11 straight points in a 20-4 run that put Philadelphia University ahead for good, 77-54, with 2:28 to play.

"It was a great game for the confidence of Danielle Crea, Laura Schmitt, Natalie DiRenzo and Adrienne Reese," Shirley said. "When our two best kids are out of the play, they stepped up. Reese won the game."

Carroll led the Lady Rams with 26 points. Wusinich added 17 and DiRenzo and Reese added 16 apiece.

"When it came to the critical point of the game, they played like champions and we didn't," Ingenito said. "They stepped up and we stepped down."

Adelphi 75, Queens 63. Dunston scored 20 points and eight rebounds and Gross added 13 points and five assists in a tight game the Lady Panthers broke open late in the second half last Wednesday night in Garden City. After hosting national powerhouse the College of St. Rose Wednesday night, Queens heads to Rockville Center to face Molloy College Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

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