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Comeback not enough for Queens’ Peponakis

But inexplicitly that's just what the Queens College men lacked in the first half against C.W. Post at the Pratt Recreation Center.

The Knights roared back in the second half to get within one point twice, but couldn't overcome a sluggish first half in an 83-74 loss in Brookville, L.I., Tuesday night.

As he paced up and down the hallway outside of his team's locker room after the game, Queens coach Kyrk Peponakis could barely harness his emotions and for good reason. The Knights aren't exactly running away with the East Coast Conference with a 10-10 overall record, 7-6 in the league.

Motivation should have come in the form of rebounding from a disheartening loss at New Haven Saturday and that C.W. Post (13-7, 9-5) and Queens were battling for sole possession of third place in the league.

Instead, Queens not only didn't get stops defensively in the first half, but the Knights allowed the Pioneers a bevy of open shots.

The result? Jonathan Schmidt scored 17 of his career-high 28 points to ignite a 26-6 run and C.W. Post led by 14 at the half.

"It's not just one guy, it's everyone," Peponakis said. "We can't defend the basketball, we can't rebound the basketball and we're going to come down here and jack (stuff) up? Please, give me a break. It's just not good enough."

Raul Mercedes had 14 points and George Skrelja added 12 points for Post, which also dominated the glass, outrebounding Queens, 47-33.

Bradd Wierzbicki had 27 points, Khaleef Allicott had 15 and Hassan Washington added 12, but the senior guard fouled out on an intentional foul with 4:51 left for tripping Skrelja under the basket after Queens grabbed a defensive rebound trailing 69-66. It was a stupid foul that summed up a frustrating evening for Peponakis.

"In the second half we play our (butts) off," he said. "Where is the passion? I've got to yell, I've got to scream. It's bull."

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