By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS -- The Great Lakes Valley Conference standings say the Quincy University women's basketball team is the best team in the West Division.
However, QU coach Jeni Garber admitted after her team's 47-42 win Thursday against Missouri-St. Louis at the Mark Twain Building that the Lady Hawks don't exactly look like a top-of-the-standings team right now.
"We have a long ways to go," said Garber, whose team moved into sole possession of first place in the West because Rockhurst beat Missouri S&T 50-34 on Thursday. "That's what we talked about (after the game).
"Do I think we're capable of being No. 1? Yes. But we're not playing like we're that right now. We have to get back to moving the ball better and moving the ball as a team."
In a season of ugly wins for Quincy (10-8, 8-2), this was maybe the ugliest. The Lady Hawks won despite making three field goals after halftime and scoring 18 second-half points.
The Lady Hawks shot 15 percent from the field in the second half and 32.6 percent for the game. UMSL (10-8, 5-5) was worse, shooting 27.6 percent.
Quincy improved to 10-0 this season in games in which its opponents shoots under 42.5 percent from the field.
"It was an ugly game on both sides. Really ugly," Garber said. "But like I said, if it's going to be ugly, I'd rather come out with a win."
QU led 34-23 after Hannah Weedman made a pair of free throws with 15 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the second half.
UMSL responded with a 13-0 run, capped by Devonna Smith's basket in the paint that put the Tritons ahead 36-34 with 10:41 to play.
That run came during a stretch of time when Quincy missed 14 straight field-goal attempts. Lucy Cramsey finally ended that drought when she made a fadeaway jumper on the left baseline to put Quincy ahead 37-36 with 6:41 to play.
Cramsey is generally effective on 15-foot fadeaway jumpers, but she said she took that shot out of necessity.
"Everybody was yelling that the shot clock was winding down -- like it had 20 times in the game -- and that's the most frustrating part, that we continue to do that," said Cramsey, who led QU with 18 points and added nine rebounds. "The shot clock was winding down, so I just threw it up there, and it went in thankfully."
Cramsey's jumper was QU's first field goal since Felisha Loggins made a shot in the paint with 17:46 to play.
Just before Cramsey's jumper, Quincy went to a 2-3 zone defensively, which limited UMSL to six points over about the final 10 minutes of the game.
"The coach should've went to it earlier. I don't know what she was thinking," Garber deadpanned, poking fun at herself. "I was going to put it on in the first half, but then I (thought), ‘They only scored 20 points, so our man (defense) is doing all right.'"
The zone slowed down Smith, who netted a team-high 11 points but didn't score after QU went to the 2-3.
"(Smith) kept getting it in and getting easy layups, easy buckets," Loggins said. "Once we went to (the zone), it really helped because we were able to help in, and she wasn't getting those easy buckets, and they weren't knocking down shots."
UMSL couldn't shoot Quincy out of the zone. The Tritons were 3 of 19 from 3-point range. For the season, UMSL is shooting 39.4 from the field and 30.6 percent from 3-point range.
"Zone is a good call against us because we aren't shooting the ball (well)," UMSL coach Katie Vaughn. "A lot of teams have played zone against us."
The Lady Hawks never trailed after Cramsey's fadeaway jumper. QU sealed the win by going 8 of 10 from the free-throw line in the final 3:21.
QU also received a key bucket from Loggins, who scored in the paint with 1:18 remaining to put Quincy ahead 42-39.
"It wasn't good for the first half and half of the second half, but we were able to finally come together and knock down big shots and pull out the win," said Loggins, who had nine points and nine rebounds. "That's the only thing that counted."