Women's College Basketball

Sluggish starts proves costly for Hawks yet again

Jessica Merino
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 10, 2018 10:15 pm

QUINCY -- The Quincy University women's basketball team is following a script that needs a rewrite.

At the very least, it needs a better opening sequence.

The Hawks struggled offensively in the first half for the fourth straight game, shooting just 29.4 percent from the field and trailing Truman State by as many as 19 points.

Although Quincy chiseled the deficit down to five midway through the fourth quarter, three straight empty possessions ruined the comeback as the Hawks were saddled with a 73-63 loss at Pepsi Arena.

"It's been our nemesis," QU coach Jeni Garber said. "We have to start figuring out how to come out with some passion and some energy from the getgo."

The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Bulldogs, who remain in the mix for a Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament berth. Truman State (11-10, 6-8 GLVC) is eighth in the GLVC points ratings with four games to play.

The top eight teams will be invited to the postseason tournament, which will be played March 1-4 at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Ill.

"We haven't been through a losing streak like that during my time at Truman," said Truman State coach Amy Eagan, the former QU assistant coach who is in her fifth season in Kirksville, Mo. "It's been a growing experience for me as a coach and for our kids. But you could tell after the game it felt good. Hopefully we learn from that stretch and can now play with a little less pressure."

The Hawks (8-16, 4-11 GLVC) could take some pressure off themselves by playing better early.

Quincy made just one field goal in the first 6 1/2 minutes and gave up an 8-3 run to close the first quarter, leading to a 20-10 deficit. The Hawks went 3 of 15 from the field in the first quarter and ended the first half shooting 29.4 percent.

"I don't know what it is," QU guard Jessica Merino said. "But we definitely need to come out with more energy to stop digging ourselves these holes."

Quincy found that energy in the second half, thanks in large part to Merino. The sophomore came off the bench to score 13 of her 16 points over the final 20 minutes.

"Once one person starts getting hot and they start scoring, it lights up the rest of the team," Merino said. "Even the bench lights up. The bench's energy translates to the court. Once you get going, it should translate through the whole game."

The Hawks used that energy to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 62-57 when Anika Webster scored off a drive with her left hand with 4:27 to play. However, Quincy followed it with four empty possessions, missing two contested shots after forcing back-to-back turnovers.

"We didn't really play well together in that series," Garber said.

Truman State finally regained control when Katie Jaseckas scored on back-to-back possessions to make it a three-possession game with less than two minutes to play.

"We did do a good job of responding," Eagan said. "We got some easy buckets when they made those runs that kind of limited it and stopped it. It kind of gave us back the momentum."

Truman State 73, Quincy 63

TRUMAN STATE (11-10, 6-8 GLVC)

Bailey 4-9 0-0 9, Totta 2-7 3-4 7, Steinhoff 3-5 3-4 10, Hartwig 5-14 1-5 11, Jaseckas 6-9 3-4 16, Tharp 4-6 0-0 8, Martin 0-0 1-2 1, T. Davenport 0-1 0-0 0, Edmundson 3-5 1-2 8, R. Davenport 1-5 1-1 3, Andrews 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 13-22 73.

QUINCY (8-16, 4-11 GLVC)

J. Ruzevich 2-8 2-4 6, Spagnola 3-9 0-0 9, Gronewold 1-3 0-0 3, Webster 5-18 2-2 13, Low 0-3 0-0 0, Petrovic 3-8 0-0 7, K. Ruzevich 1-3 1-2 3, Hickey 2-4 0-0 6, Harazin 0-0 0-0 0, Merino 5-9 2-2 16, Schraufnagel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-65 7-10 63.

Truman State 20 20 15 18--73

Quincy 10 18 18 17--63

3-point field goals--Truman State 4-19 (Bailey 1-6, Edmundson 1-2, Steinhoff 1-1, Jaseckas 1-1, Hartwig 0-3, Totta 0-2, R. Davenport 0-2, T. Davenport 0-1, Andrews 0-1), Quincy 12-30 (Merino 4-8, Spagnola 3-6, Hickey 2-4, Webster 1-4, Petrovic 1-4, Gronewold 1-1, J. Ruzevich 0-2, Low 0-1). Rebounds--Truman State 43 (Jaseckas 13), Quincy 30 (Petrovic 6). Assists--Truman State 8 (Totta 5), Quincy 9 (Spagnola, Hickey 2). Steals--Truman State 2 (Totta, T. Davenport), Quincy 6 (Merino 2). Blocked shots--Truman State 5 (Jaseckas 3), Quincy 2 (Low 2). Turnovers--Truman State 11, Quincy 9. Fouls--Truman State 10, Quincy 25. Fouled out--None. Officials--Keith Kee, Kerry Nichols, Tracy Mulligan.

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