Nina Vukosavljevic scores 24 as women's basketball tops Queens in pivotal ECC matchup

Nina Vukosavljevic led the Bears in scoring Wednesday.
Nina Vukosavljevic led the Bears in scoring Wednesday.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The NYIT women's basketball team has moved closer to hosting an East Coast Conference playoff game.

In a battle of postseason contenders, the Bears defeated Queens, 60-52, at Recreation Hall on Wednesday.

The game was neck-and-neck throughout, with NYIT's largest lead the final margin of victory and Queens' largest lead six points in the third quarter, both times after layups by Merrick Rowland.

With St. Thomas Aquinas, LIU Post and Roberts Wesleyan atop the ECC standings, that leaves NYIT, Daemen and Queens bunched up for the final three slots in the six-team conference tournament.

A Queens win Wednesday would have pulled it even with NYIT in the ECC standings for fourth place.

Instead, NYIT improved to 8-5 in the ECC with the victory against the Knights. Daemen is next at 7-6, followed by Queens at 6-7.

The Nos. 3 and 4 seeds host opening-round games, before the ECC tournament shifts to Roberts Wesleyan for the semifinals and finals. 

With NYIT clinging to a 54-52 lead on Wednesday, Nina Vukosavljevic gave the Bears breathing room by draining a jumpshot with 49 seconds remaining. She then went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line the rest of the way to seal the victory.

Vukosavljevic finished with a game-high 24 points. Corinn Baggs (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Maia Hood (12 points, 11 rebounds) each contributed double-doubles.

NYIT swept the season series from Queens, giving it the tiebreaker should the Knights catch NYIT during the remaining five ECC games.