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But it was the forced three-pointer and turnover in the final 57 seconds as well as Wierzbicki grabbing just one rebound that upset Queens College men's basketball coach Kyrk Peponakis after the Knights were upset, 82-80, by Molloy College in Rockville Centre, L.I., Monday night."He's great but there's more to it than scoring, I know that," Peponakis said. "And I'm trying to get him to realize that."Wierzbicki, who on Saturday night became the 22nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, scored 15 of his team's final 19 points and Queens (20-6, 16-3 NYCAC) roared back from a 14-point deficit with eight minutes left to tie the game at 80 on a layup by Hassan Washington with 11.9 seconds left.On his first bucket of the second half - a drive to the basket 31 seconds after halftime - Wierzbicki broke John Sikiric's record for points in a single season (611), set last year.He scored 14 points in the final 3:20 but after losing control of the ball after stealing it with 57 seconds left, Wierzbicki unleashed an off-balance three-point attempt coming off a screen that would have put the Knights in front by one. But his shot from the top of the key rattled off the back rim with 21.8 seconds left."I was feeling it and got an open look off the screen," said Wierzbicki, who was named NYCAC Player of the Week Monday for the sixth time. "It looked good. I probably could have gone to the basket."Molloy's Mike Mooney stepped to the line, but after draining eight straight free throws, he missed both attempts. Washington grabbed the rebound with 17.8 seconds left, raced down the court and tied the game with a layup in traffic.Molloy (11-15, 10-9) came right back down the court and Keith Tilley, a junior forward from Kew Gardens, knocked down a runner in the lane with Lance Hazel draped all over him, to put the Lions in front, 82-80 with 3.7 seconds left.Washington tried to hit Shaun Bertin (18 points, 10 rebounds) with a touchdown pass, but former Archbishop Molloy standout Vinny Falzone (22 points, 15 rebounds) recovered and tapped the ball away to end the game.For the first 36 minutes of the game, Queens looked like a team that was playing its fourth game in six days. And Molloy, arguably the hardest working team in the NYCAC, capitalized. Trailing 37-33 at the half, the Lions went on a 20-6 run to take a 65-51 lead on a Tilley layup with 8:06 left."I'm not one to look for an excuse," Wierzbicki said. "Even if we are a tired team, it shouldn't really matter. We have to just play through that."Queens wraps up its regular season with a critical second place battle with Bridgeport scheduled for Wednesday night.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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