Ingenito stops the bleeding, as Lady Knights hold off NYIT, 59-53

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It had all the trappings of a second half meltdown.

The Queens College women’s basketball team saw its 14-point second half lead disappear and on a turnaround jumper by New York Tech’s Georgia Gordon, the Lady Bears capped a 17-2 run to take a 38-37 lead with 8:27 left in the game.

Although it appeared his team was on the verge of crumbling, Queens head coach Jerry Ingenito was as calm as could be. Instead of calling a timeout to settle down his squad, he just let the Lady Knights run their offense.

Shonda Holder rewarded her coach’s confidence with a pair of key baskets to regain the Lady Knights’ lead for good en route to a 59-53 win at New York Tech in Old Westbury, L.I. Saturday.

Holder, a 5-foot-11 freshman from Uniondale, was huge for the Lady Knights, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds — eight in the first half — to lead Queens (7-10, 6-7) to its second straight New York Collegiate Athletic Conference win in a row.

“I know things have been hard, but in the end I always say our discipline is going to win out,” Ingenito said. “I trust them. When I show them that confidence, it makes them feel good. They know what they have to do.”

Especially Holder, whose turnaround jumper from the low post put the Lady Knights back ahead, 38-37. Three minutes later, with Queens still clinging to a one-point lead, Holder scored on a backdoor cut and followed with an open look from the right blocks to give the Lady Knights a 44-39 lead with 4:46 left.

“Shonda handles her position very well,” said Queens College senior forward Theresa Dollard. “She might not start as a freshman on other teams, but she lives up to her position she plays.”

Theresa Dollard, who had 12 points and was one of three players in double-digit scoring, was also clutch down the stretch.

Following a three-pointer by freshman point guard Jennifer Doscher (13 points) that ignited the crowd and cut the Lady Bears’ deficit to just two, 44-42, Theresa Dollard answered with an old-fashioned three-point play on a putback to extend the Lady Knights lead to five with 4:02 left.

“In this league, and especially against New York Tech, 14 points is not a big lead,” she said. “We were ready for their run. We’re playing more together as a unit, we have more confidence in each other.”

It looked like the Lady Knights were going to blow the game open in the first half, opening up a 23-8 lead on a pair of Erin Dollard free throws. But New York Tech (3-13, 3-9) chipped away at the Queens lead and trailed by 11, 27-16 at the break.

Freshman point guard Natasha Lyons netted a game-high 15 points, grabbed six rebounds, had six assists and three steals in 38 minutes and sophomore guard Erin Dollard added 10 points for the Lady Knights, who play at Bridgeport Wednesday before capping a three-game league road trip at C.W. Post Saturday at 4 p.m.

Gordon, who had the second triple-double in school history in a 74-68 loss to Southampton, was just two steals shy of yet another triple-double Saturday as the versatile 5-foot-11 sophomore had 11 points, a game-high 16 boards and eight steals for New York Tech.

Queens College 69, Southampton 53. Lyons had 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals, Holder added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Theresa Dollard had 14 points for the Lady Knights, who avenged a 62-47 loss at Southampton (10-6, 8-4) with a 16-point win last Thursday at Fitzgerald Gymnasium. Amber Gooden had 13 points for the Colonials.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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