Queens University routs North Alabama in 107-78 home win

The Royals shot 55.6% from behind the arc

Photo by Jesse Deal

CHARLOTTE — The Queens University of Charlotte men’s basketball team shot a season-best 61% from the field on Saturday afternoon in Curry Arena as the Royals defeated the North Alabama Lions 107-78.

The 29-point home win over the Lions (9-10, 1-5 ASUN) was exactly what the Royals (13-6, 3-3 ASUN) needed after losing three of their past four Atlantic Sun Conference games.

“I think most importantly, our guys stayed connected on both sides of the floor,” first-year Queens head coach Grant Leonard said following the win. “They talked defensively, so we had less communication errors, and our offense really shared the ball well. When you do both of those things, it’s going to go well.”

Anchored by senior guard and leading scorer Kenny Dye, the Royals connected on 15 of 27 (53%) shots from 3-point range as they reached the century mark for the second time this season. 

Leading by 56-32 at halftime, Queens kept its foot on the pedal in the second half, pulling away from the Lions. 

“Our theme this year is to embrace adversity,” Leonard said. “We know we’re going to see a few more tough ones this year than we do in most years, and we really want to just stay together through the tough times and be able to push forward. I think today was a good sign of that.”

Dye finished with a team-best 18 points and seven assists while sophomore guard AJ McKee reached double figures for the 19th straight game with 15 points. Junior forward BJ McLaurin and sophomore guard Chris Ashby each added 15 points off the bench.

In his first start since Dec. 20, junior forward Jay’Den Turner was 5 of 7 from the field with 13 points. Six-foot-7 forward Gavin Rains — the top rebounder in the conference — hauled in a team-best 12 rebounds to reach double-digit boards for the 10th time this season.

North Alabama was led by KJ Johnson (17 points), Detalian Brown (16 points) and Damian Forrest (10 points). 

The Royals will now have five days to rest before heading to Florida for matchups against the North Florida (7-11, 2-4 ASUN) on Jan. 19 and Jacksonville (9-7, 2-3 ASUN) on Jan. 21.