Effort of Lady Hawks' freshmen not enough in loss to Bulldogs

Quincy University’s Maggie Cunningham gets fouled by Truman State’s Nicole Gloor during the Bulldogs’ 62-52 victory Tuesday night at QU’s Pepsi Arena. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Nov. 21, 2012 1:21 am Updated: Dec. 12, 2012 2:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

Jeni Garber won't turn down scoring from the freshmen on her Quincy University women's basketball team.

"I'll take scoring wherever it comes from," said Garber, QU's coach.

She'd also accept a little more scoring from her veterans than what she got Tuesday.

The Lady Hawks received 33 points from a quartet of freshmen off the bench but didn't get nearly enough scoring from their starting lineup in a 62-52 loss to Truman State at Pepsi Arena.

QU's starting lineup, which featured four juniors and a sophomore, combined for only 19 points on 9-of-27 shooting.

"I don't know where our focus was or where we were at," QU junior guard Felisha Loggins said. "We weren't flowing together."

Truman coach Michael Smith said before the game he was worried about the Bulldogs' focus. As it was, Truman (2-0) beat QU for the second straight year and won at Pepsi Arena for the first time since Nov. 18, 2000.

"I didn't know how we'd be with (Thanksgiving) break (coming up)," Smith said. "I've been doing this a lot of years, and you never know if they're going to be thinking about sitting at the dinner table thinking about turkey and dressing or if they're thinking about basketball."

QU (1-3) started well enough.

The Lady Hawks led

17-11 after freshman Maggie Cunningham's layup with 9 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the first half.

However, the Bulldogs closed the half with a 27-10 run.

"We had a bad stretch there the last four minutes of the first half," Garber said. "We just kind of lost our focus, and they got quick, easy baskets in transition."

Truman took its largest lead after Jennifer Conway drained a jumper to put the Bulldogs ahead 59-41 with 8:21 to play.

The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field and made 5 of 8 3-point attempts. Truman senior guard Becka McHenry scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

"(McHenry) is just very consistent," Smith said. "She doesn't try to do too much."

The Lady Hawks didn't do enough with their offensive possessions.

Truman used relentless pressure on the perimeter to hassle QU's point guards. That led to a lot of dribbling about 25 feet from the basket for QU and too many offensive possessions that didn't get going until the waning seconds of the shot clock.

"We have to get the ball out of our point guard's hands sooner and start the offense," Garber said. "They did a nice job of denying and pushing us out and hassling our ball handlers, but (QU's guards) have got to be able to handle it better."

When the Lady Hawks could get their offensive set up, they often looked to the post to freshman center Erin Mennemeyer, who scored a career-high 13 points. Cunningham added 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line.

Cierra Young (six points) and Kara Gerbus (three points) rounded out QU's freshmen scoring contingent.

"They're going to have to score," Garber said of her freshmen.

The freshmen simply needed a little more support from a starting lineup that produced 45 points in QU's lone win.

"We need to step up," Loggins said. "We have to come into every game focused."


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