CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Queens University Charlotte used a 15-0 first half run and never looked back as the fourth-ranked Royals defeated visiting Tusculum 92-57 Saturday afternoon at Curry Arena in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action.
Queens (18-1, 10-1 SAC) led wire-to-wire as the Tusculum starting-five could only muster six points on the afternoon.
Jalin Alexander and Shaun Willett contributed 15 points each off the bench for the Royals, while starters Mike Davis and Lewis Kiankulu tallied 14 points apiece as Queens swept the season series and won their fourth in a row over the Pioneers (5-13, 3-8 SAC).
Tusculum freshman Elon Smallwood led all scorers with his season-best 18 points off the bench. Smallwood went 6-of-12 from the floor and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Senior Ronnie Baylark accounted for 15 points with 13 of those coming in the opening half.
Queens scored the first six points of the game and jumped out to a 9-2 lead following a Mike Davis three-pointer. TC answered with a 9-4 run which was sparked by back-to-back triples from Baylark and a jumper from rookie Brandon Mitchell as the Pioneers trailed 13-11 with 12:54 left in the half.
But after the under-12 media timeout, the Royals erupted for 15 unanswered points which were capped by a steal and dunk by Mike Davis and an Alexander three-pointer as Queens extended the lead to 28-11. Baylark briefly halted the run with his third triple of the half, but the Royals pushed the lead to 20 (36-16) as Daniel Carr converted a four-point play and Mike Davis added another three-pointer.
Queens extended the lead to as many 26 points (49-23) after a Josh Van Weezep three-pointer before settling for a 52-30 lead at the intermission. The Royals dominated the boards in the first half out-rebounding Tusculum 28-12, including 11-4 on the offensive glass resulting in 14 second-chance points.
Queens opened the second half with a 21-7 run in the first 7:23 and would extend the lead to as many as 37 on three occasions in the final six minutes of the contest.
The Royals finished the game shooting 48.4 percent from the floor including 10 three-pointers and shot 22-of-28 from the free throw line (78.6%). Queens out-rebounded Tusculum by a 53-28 margin as the Pioneers shot 31 percent for the game and were held to a season-low in points (57) and three-pointers made (6).
Todd Withers led the Royals with 11 rebounds, to go along with his four points, four assists and three blocked shots. Mike Davis added nine rebounds and four steals while Willett hauled in eight boards with three assists.
Brandon Mitchell finished the game with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Pioneers as TC's starting five went a combined 1-for-19 from the floor for the game.
Tusculum will face its second consecutive top-five opponent on Wednesday when they travel to Harrogate, Tennessee to face third-ranked Lincoln Memorial for an 8 p.m. contest.