By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The Quincy University men's basketball team's 65-57 loss Thursday at Illinois-Springfield had no impact on the seeding for the Hawks or the Prairie Stars in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.
Still, it served to give the Prairie Stars some momentum heading into the postseason and hand the Hawks a little speed bump.
QU (12-14, 7-11) will enter the 12-team tournament field as the No. 11 seed and open against No. 6 Lewis (18-8, 12-6) at 2 p.m. Sunday in Romeoville, Ill. Lewis comes in as the GLVC East's hottest team, having won four straight.
Even with a win against UIS, QU would have been the No. 11 seed because William Jewell beat Rockhurst 64-59 to protect its lead over Quincy. The Prairie Stars (8-18, 6-12) were guaranteed the No. 12 seed regardless of Thursday's outcome.
"Right now we're 0-0," QU coach Marty Bell told ESPN 1440 after the game. "If you want to win championships, there are four (conference tournament) games to play. It doesn't matter what we've done to this point. It does not matter. It matters only about the next game, and if we don't do well, our season is over."
The Hawks moved ahead of UIS 53-51 after Jens Kennedy sank a pair of free throws with 5 minutes, 24 seconds remaining. UIS responded with a 14-0 run.
UIS generated five points on second-chance opportunities early in the run.
"We couldn't recover," Bell said.
QU committed 16 turnovers, compared to eight for UIS, and the Prairie Stars outscored Quincy 18-12 in points off of turnovers.
"We turned the ball over too many times for touchdowns," Bell said, referring to a lot of Quincy turnovers that yielded easy chances for UIS. "This team gets out and denies you and gets into you a little bit, and we didn't react well to it."
UIS's West Dawson led all players with 20 points.
Chris Babbitt fueled Quincy with team highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds. He was 7 of 11 from the field. Freshman centers Dalton Hoover and Kennedy added 14 points apiece for Quincy.
"Our bigs did a really good job tonight of scoring and attacking," Bell said. "Unfortunately, we just turned the ball over too much."