Queen's late three-pointer helps W&J down Franciscan in season opener, 66-64

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- A go-ahead three-pointer with 6.6 seconds to play by junior Zach Queen (Jeannette, Pa./Hempfield) helped the Washington & Jefferson men's basketball team earn a dramatic 66-64 victory over Franciscan University in Friday night's season opener. 

The win was the first in a season opener for the Presidents since the 2013-14 season. The victory also helped W&J avenge a season-opening loss to Franciscan last year.
Queen, who set the single-season school record for made three-pointers last year, picked up right where he left off to start 2019-20. With the score tied at 63-63, Queen connected on a wide opener three-point attempt to give the Presidents the lead for good. 
Queen led the Presidents with 15 points, which came off of five made three-pointers. Junior guard Cameron Seemann (Loveland, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) tacked on 14 points while senior guard Jonathan DeVito (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic) chipped in 12 points to give W&J a trio of players in double figures. 
Franciscan used a 10-0 run to claim a 22-12 edge with 9:04 left in the first half. The Barons kept the Presidents at a distance for the remainder of the half before taking a 33-26 edge into the break. W&J struggled to shoot over the first half, converting just eight-of-22 field goal attempts (36.6 percent). Franciscan built the lead with 13 made field goals, which included five triples. 
W&J stormed out of the locker room with a furious run to open the second half. A dunk by junior Nicholas Campalong(Sewickley, Pa./Ambridge) evened the score at 33-33, as the Presidents scored seven straight points. 
The run continued as the Presidents tacked on 12 more unanswered points to extend the run to 19-0 to start the second half. A three by Queen was followed by five straight points by Seemann. A little later, a dunk by Campalong made the score 45-33 with 12:31 left. The Campalong dunk gave W&J an extended scoring run of 23-3 dating back to the latter stages of the half. 

However, the Barons would respond with a run of their own, as the hosts recorded 17 of the next 25 points to close within three points (53-50) with 6:24 left. After Franciscan tied the score with 3:16 to play, DeVito drained a triple to give W&J the lead once more. 
Four consecutive free throw makes by Franciscan put the home team back in front, with a 59-58 advantage with 3:00 minutes left. The Barons would eventually even the score on a layup with 1:33 to play. 
Both teams had several opportunities to regain the lead. However, it was the Presidents who did so on the fifth made three-pointer of the night by Queen with just 6.6 seconds remaining. The Presidents elected to foul and force the Barons to decide what strategy they wanted to use late. After making the first free to close within two, the Barons missed the second attempt at the charity stripe and gathered the offensive rebound. After a timeout, the Barons potential game-winning three-point attempt missed its mark. 
Strong second half shooting was ultimately the difference in the win for W&J. The Red and Black connected on 15-of-28 field goal attempts (53.5 percent) after halftime. The Presidents also made seven three-point field goals in the second half.  
Aside from the trio of double figure scorers, Campalong finished with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Primo Zini (Morgantown, W.Va./Trinity Christian) added eight points, seven rebounds and three steals. 
Sean Hickey led all scorers with 20 points for the Barons, who fall to 0-1 after the season-opening loss. Franciscan made just one of its nine three-point attempts in the second half. 
W&J returns to action when they host Pitt-Greensburg in the home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The non-conference matchup is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. start.