By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
This time, the Quincy University women's basketball team couldn't walk the tight rope.
The Lady Hawks have found plenty of success throughout Great Lakes Valley Conference play despite a high turnover count by doing nearly everything else well.
On Saturday, QU's turnover woes flared up as usual, but the Lady Hawks' defense and rebounding were also lacking. That resulted in a 79-55 loss to William Jewell at Pepsi Arena, marking just the second loss for QU (9-8, 7-2) in its last 10 games.
"Rebounding and defense is how we've come out winning the games we have this season, and it just wasn't there tonight," said QU junior center Hannah Weedman, who scored a team-high 17 points.
WJC (11-6, 5-4) shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 27 (40.7 percent) from 3-point range. QU dropped to 0-8 in games in which its opponent shoots better than 42.5 percent from the field.
Although the Lady Hawks won the rebounding battle 30-29, it was a far cry from the nearly plus-10 margin they were averaging coming into the game. WJC had a 10-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
"When we did get some defensive stops, they'd get an offensive rebound," said QU coach Jeni Garber, whose team remained in a tie for first place in the GLVC West Division because fellow frontrunner Missouri S&T lost 56-39 to Maryville. "That was kind of a back-breaker for us in the second half."
WJC opened the game on a 10-2 run, but Quincy whittled its deficit to 30-28 at halftime thanks to a 10-3 run to close the first half.
Weedman and Kelly Buresh, who scored 16 points, had five points apiece during that run.
The Cardinals responded by starting the second half on a 15-2 run, taking a 45-30 lead on Chelsea Meeks' 3-pointer with 15 minutes, 24 seconds to play. Following that run, WJC's lead never dipped into single digits.
Meeks, a 5-foot-5 jitterbug guard, was 7 of 13 from the field and scored a game-high 19 points.
But her biggest impact might have come on the defensive side of the ball. She had a game-high four steals.
"I would hate to be the offensive player against her," said WJC coach Jill Cress, whose team had 14 steals, raising its league-best average to 12.8 per game.
WJC hounded Quincy with a full-court trapping press that has forced 20.6 turnovers per game, which ranks second in the GLVC.
"It kind of gets your players going," Cress said. "It's fun to play, it's fun to watch and it's fun to coach when it's going well. When it's not, you give up a lot of layups."
QU's first two offensive possessions never even got started, as they had a pair of five-second violations trying to inbound the ball.
The Lady Hawks committed eight turnovers in the first seven minutes and finished with 24, tying their season high.
QU's streak of games with at least 18 turnovers reached eight.
"From the very first play, we lost it," Garber said. "We weren't focused. We didn't know what we were doing. We had a couple turnovers. They got us rattled."