By BLAKE TOPPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
The small lineup that was so effective for the Quincy University men's basketball team throughout much of its 81-74 win Saturday over Lindenwood should get more time in the future.
QU coach Marty Bell used the lineup partly out of necessity Saturday. QU's 6-foot-7 freshman forward Dalton Hoover sat out his second straight game with a pectoral strain, and 6-10 sophomore center Drake Vermillion played just seven minutes due to foul trouble and ineffectiveness.
Hoover is expected to return for QU's Great Lakes Valley Conference opener against Illinois-Springfield (2-5) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pepsi Arena. However, Bell said he'll probably continue to use the smaller lineup at times.
"We'll do more of that," Bell said of the smaller lineup after Saturday's win.
When Hoover is on the floor, he'll play the center position -- as long as Vermillion or 6-10 redshirt freshman Jens Kennedy aren't on the floor. If Hoover isn't on the floor, the Hawks could feature a small lineup much like the one they used against Lindenwood with 6-5 senior Tyler Thompson as the center. If the smaller look is effective, that could translate to fewer minutes for Vermillion and Kennedy.
Bell said he implemented the smaller lineup in Thursday's practice, and the Hawks worked on it back to back days in advance of Saturday's game.
Now with a full week of practice to continue working with that smaller look, Bell said that unit should be prepared to run more sets and be more varied offensively.
Bell said the smaller lineup should cause QU's opponents matchup problems when the Hawks are on offense.
"When we play that smaller lineup, it creates problems at the other end of the floor," he said.
The key will be whether the Hawks (3-2) can hold their own on the boards. They did so Saturday. Lindenwood came into the game with a plus-17 rebounding advantage over its opponents, but the Lions outrebounded QU just 30-27.
Let there be — some — light: QU used a different lighting scheme at Pepsi Arena for Saturday's game.
Lights above the fan seating were turned off, with the lights above the floor being the only overhead lights left on. It was the first time this season that lighting scheme was used. Previously, lights above the fan seating were turned on.
Bell said that was a planned action, and that Saturday's lighting scheme should continue for QU's remaining home games.
"I want to give it more of an arena feel," Bell said. "We have the ability to do that now because we have new energy efficient lights. We want them off (over the fan seating) because then it makes the floor stand out."
Miner proves clutch again: Mudi Eruteya is quickly developing a name for himself as a clutch performer
The Missouri S&T junior guard drained a 3-pointer from about 30 feet out at the buzzer to lift the Miners to a 77-74 non-conference win over Westminster on Thursday at Rolla, Mo. Eruteya drained a trey from the top of the key with 6.1 seconds remaining to give the Miners a 61-60 win at Western Illinois a preseason exhibition game last month. Eruteya is a transfer from South Suburban College (Ill.) and is averaging 14.5 points per game to help the Miners to a 2-2 start.
USI winning without star post player: Southern Indiana is gaining national attention despite playing without one of its top players.
The Screaming Eagles are 4-0 and ranked No. 8 in the Division II poll, and three of those wins have come without 6-9 senior forward Keith DeWitt, a transfer from Southern Mississippi. DeWitt scored 25 points in USI's season-opening win but soon after was declared out indefinitely with a left knee injury. DeWitt underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee about two weeks ago, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.
DeWitt recently told the Evansville C & P he's "ahead of schedule" in his recovery. Although there's no exactly timetable for DeWitt's return -- USI coach Rodney Watson did tell the Evansville C & P DeWitt won't play this week -- he's expected to return sometime this season.
Around the league: McKendree senior guard John Steppe was named the GLVC men's basketball Player of the Week on Monday. He averaged 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in a pair of McKendree wins last week. He registered his second double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds in McKendree's 69-53 win over Lincoln Christian on Nov. 27. … Missouri-St. Louis junior forward Hazaria Washington was named the GLVC women's basketball Player of the Week. In a pair of UMSL wins last week, Goodin averaged 13.5 points, eight rebounds, three steals and 2.5 blocks per game. She secured her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds in UMSL's 73-70 overtime win against Missouri Baptist on Nov. 27. She's the first UMSL women's player to receive the weekly award, according to league records dating back to 1998-99.