Queens Knights cruise past Concordia Clippers

By Dylan Butler

Try and score inside/out. And no one on the Knights embraces that philosophy more than Shaun Bertin. The thick 6-foot-6 junior forward scored at will inside for the Knights in a 76-66 win over Concordia at Fitzgerald Gymnasium Tuesday night.Bertin leads the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 61.6 field goal percentage and it's because the former Nazareth standout takes almost all of his shots from within five feet of the basket.”I'm not that smart, I don't figure out where the mismatches are,” Peponakis said. “I just figure we run this play and if it works, we run it again. We ran a few things for Shaun and it worked.”Peponakis truly believes no one in the league can block Bertin's shot when he gets in good position on the low blocks and against an undermanned Concordia team that was certainly the case.Bertin scored 15 of his team-high 20 points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Many of his baskets came off of lobs into the low post. He even did a good job of finishing the break for an uncontested dunk.”I always feel if I get the ball inside I can finish,” Bertin said. “I always try and go up strong because I don't believe anyone can block my shot so I just try and finish every time.”Concordia, a team that should have come in sky high after its first win of the year Saturday against Molloy College, led 10-6 early but Bertin scored 10 points in a 24-4 run to give Queens (14-5, 12-4 NYCAC) a 30-14 lead.The Knights led 40-28 at the half and extended its advantage to 21, 72-51 late in the second half. In a dangerous midweek home game, the type of game the Knights overlooked in the past, Queens closed out Concordia (1-17, 1-14) and got to put its walk-ons and seldom used subs into the game in the final 1:46.”That's been a problem of late,” Bertin said. “Coach told us we can't overlook any game because teams are going to come in here and want to take our joy away. We came in, knew what we had to do, and just came in and played.”Kenald Bernard stepped into the starting lineup, replacing fellow freshman Clyde Chapman, who is temporarily academically ineligible (Peponakis expects his academic standing to improve within the week), and scored 10 points.Although it was outrebounded 43-36, Queens scored 34 of its 76 points from the low post.”That's pretty much what we try and do every game, go inside first and take advantage of Shaun being in there,” said John Sikiric, who had 14 points and 8 rebounds. “We try and pass him the ball in a good position and he just puts the ball in the basket.”Brian Antonelli had 18 points – including six 3-pointers – and 9 rebounds and David Swaby added 13 points and 6 rebounds for Concordia. Senior guard Famous Brown was particularly a disappointment for Concordia coach John Dwinell, finishing scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting with 2 assists and 2 turnovers.”After beating Molloy, we get out first win and we don't match any intensity,” Dwinell said. “We expect more out of Famous being a senior; we thought John Garrett would play back-to-back solid games.”Queens College 81, Mercy College 74. Sikiric had 19 points, eclipsing the 1,400 point plateau and it gave he had his brother Steve a combined total of 2,545 points. They are now the highest scoring brother tandem in the program's history, surpassing St. John's coach Norm Roberts and his younger brother Marty, who scored a combined 2,536 points.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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