Wessli-Ann Hardee, Staff Writer
The Wingate University Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team (12-11, 9-6 SAC) put up a strong fight against the #2 team in the country, Queens University (22-1, 14-1 SAC), but unfortunately fell short of a victory with a score of 88 – 71, on Wednesday night in Cuddy Arena.
“It will take a perfect game to beat the #2 team in the country,” said Wingate Assistant coach Marcus Kirkland before Wednesday night’s game.
A perfect game was what the Bulldogs strived for, as they put up a strong first half against the Royals.
Marco Haskins started the first half with a 3-pointer in the first minute of play. The Bulldogs trailed the Royals the entire first half, as it seemed the Royals had an answer for Wingate’s every move. The Bulldogs were down by eight with a score of 41-33 going into halftime.
“I felt we played very hard to start the game. We threw them off with our zone and it took them a while to figure it out,” said Wingate senior guard Zeriq Lolar.
The Bulldogs came out with a vengeance in the second half. They were within two points against the Royals, six minutes into the half after a dunk by Quantra Taylor.
But due to several turnovers in the last 14 minutes, the Bulldogs allowed the Royals to overtake them, sending them to their 11th loss of the season.
“Once the second half started, we had a good energy, but then around the 12-minute mark we fell apart and didn’t play well. We lacked communication within our zone and that led to wide open layups and threes,” said Lolar.
Hoskins lead the team with 21 total points, followed by Lolar with 10 points and Quantra Taylor grabbed 11 rebounds. Todd Withers lead the Royals with 19 points, going 8-of-12 from the field and Ike Agusi led the Royals in the rebounding column with four.
The Bulldogs have now lost four straight games to Queens after beating the Royals twice during the regular season last year. Queens defeated Wingate in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship Game and in the first round of the Division II Regionals a year ago.
The Bulldogs are back in action when they face Lincoln Memorial (22-1, 16-0 SAC) on Saturday, at 4 p.m. in Cuddy Arena. LMU is leading the conference and is #1 in the nation in Division II, so Wingate must regroup quickly if they want to pull off a monumental upset after taking #2 Queens to the wire for most of the game.
Edited by Brendan Shriver