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Queens women outlast struggling Bridgeport in ugly affair

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It certainly won’t go down as one of the top games of Denis Conroy’s freshman campaign as Queens College women’s basketball coach, and unfortunately the Lady Knights’ 54-47 win over Bridgeport Saturday at Fitzgerald Gymnasium won’t even be considered the worst.

But the victory marked the young team’s third straight, which, when you muddle through the muck of the New York Collegiate Conference game, is at least a positive for the Lady Knights.

“It always matters how you play, and we always say you can only control what you do,” Conroy said. “It definitely wasn’t pretty, but we did what was necessary and you can’t overlook that.”

Ugly isn’t the word for a game between two teams that shot less than 30 percent from the field and turned the ball over a total of 29 times.

But there were some glimpses of beauty in this forgettable game, especially the performance of sophomore forward Shonda Holder. The Uniondale native had a team-high 13 points and a game-best 18 rebounds as the 5-foot-11 power forward recorded her third straight double-double.

“I like rebounds,” Holder said. “That’s my role, and if shots aren’t falling I have to push myself to get the offensive and defensive rebounds.”

Holder was especially impressive on the offensive glass, where she pulled down nine boards, many coming on second and third chances.

“She’s got a strong will to compete and she gets her hands on a lot of boards,” Conroy said of Holder. “Nine offensive rebounds is enormous.”

Queens (4-5, 3-3) also received strong contributions off the bench from Amy Mulligan, a transfer from Vermont who had 12 rebounds in 20 minutes, and freshman Jackie Plante, who added 10 of the Lady Knights’ 12 points.

Conroy said he was concerned coming into the game because Bridgeport, an equally young team, was still searching for its first league win. He conveyed that message to the Lady Knights before the game, but Queens still played to the level of their competition, a season-long bad habit.

“We had to match their desperation to win,” Conroy said. “I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half, and we didn’t play great in the second half either, but we did what we needed to do.”

“I think our team plays down to teams we should beat and that doesn’t help us,” added junior Erin Dollard, who had eight points. “It’s frustrating and it’s something we have to learn. But it’s hard to be mad when you win.”

Jaimy Sebald, a junior guard/forward, led Bridgeport (1-8, 0-7) with 13 points and 13 defensive rebounds off the bench.

Queens has a tough stretch of games ahead, playing at defending NYCAC champ Adelphi in a game scheduled for Wednesday, hosting C.W. Post Saturday and facing Dowling Tuesday.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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