Herald-Whig

Another sluggish start dooms Hawks

QUs Dami Adekinka puts up a shot against Lewis University at Pepsi Arena on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 17, 2020 10:30 am

QUINCY -- If there is a rational or reasonable explanation for why the Quincy University women's basketball team perpetually struggles in the first quarter, the Hawks would love to hear it.

They are struggling to figure it out.

Defensive breakdowns at both the beginning and end of the first quarter Thursday night -- Lewis made its first four shots and four of its last six -- put the Hawks in a 13-point hole and they never fully escaped it. Lewis never surrendered the lead in a 70-54 victory in Great Lakes Valley Conference play at Pepsi Arena.

This was the Hawks' third straight game getting outscored in the first quarter and their third straight loss.

"I don't know," QU freshman guard Laney Lantz said. "Honestly, we don't know. Our mentality has got to be to come out stronger. Right now, we see that as beating ourselves. We're so tired of coming out slow."

This time, the problems were defensively.

Lewis (9-5, 6-0 GLVC) made its first four field goal attempts and led 10-2 before Quincy could react. The Hawks reacted positively as Lantz scored on back-to-back drives and Dami Adeyinka knocked down a jumpshot to pull within 14-10 with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter.

The Flyers answered with a 9-0 spurt, forcing the Hawks (5-9, 1-5 GLVC) to miss their final five shots and go scoreless over a six-possession stretch.

"We weren't focused and locked in defensively," QU coach Jeni Garber said. "We made crucial mistakes at the beginning of the game that hurt us. We have to be better than that. We have to be locked in and ready to go."

When the Hawks did lock in, they gave themselves a chance.

Quincy outscored Lewis 20-12 in the second quarter, trimming a 15-point deficit down to two before the Flyers' Kaitlyn Williams hit a 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining in the half for a 35-30 edge. The Flyers pushed the lead to 10 in the third quarter and put the game away by holding the Hawks to six points in the fourth quarter.

"It's those little things, like getting an extra offensive rebound or pushing in transition when we get our guards running," Lantz said. "It's those small things we need to work on."

Lantz finished with 23 points, going 8 of 15 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free-throw line, but QU leading scorer Aleksandra Petrovic was held scoreless and the Hawks were just 2 of 14 from 3-point range. They are 13 of 59 from beyond the arc (22 percent) during the three-game skid.

"If anything, as a team, we want to get better now," Lantz said. "We're willing to change things around to get better. We're working to get better. Hopefully in the next few games, we see a change because we're going to focus on coming out strong."

Lewis 70, Quincy University 54

LEWIS (9-5, 6-0 GLVC)

Williams 4-11 0-0 12. Hart 1-3 2-2 4, Black 6-8 0-0 14, Gardner 6-11 1-2 14, Hinders 4-8 8-8 16, Glatczak 3-5 1-2 7, Streeter 1-3 0-0 3, Hilber 0-2 0-0 0, Harrison 0-0 0-0 0, Barth-Lofton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-52 12-14 10.

QU (5-9, 1-5 GLVC)

Petrovic 0-4 0-0 0, Gobald 1-3 0-0 3, Lantz 8-15 7-7 23, Porth 2-5 2-2 6, Low 4-12 1-2 9, Rivera 4-8 0-0 9, Adeyinka 2-3 0-0 4, Merino 0-5 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Schraufnagel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 10-11 54.

Lewis 23 12 19 16--70

QU 10 20 18 6--54

3-point field goals--Lewis 8-21 (Williams 4-8, Black 2-2, Gardner 1-3, Streeter 1-3, Glatczak 0-1, Hart 0-2, Hilber 0-2), QU 2-14 (Gobald 1-3, Rivera 1-5, Petrovic 0-1, Lantz 0-2, Merino 0-3). Rebounds--Lewis 28 (Black 6), QU 33 (Rivera 7). Assists--Lewis 20 (Gardner 4), QU 10 (Porth 3). Steals--Lewis 5 (Gardner 2), QU 5 (Lantz 3). Blocked shots--Lewis 2 (Gardner, Glatczak), QU 3 (Low 3). Turnovers--Lewis 12, QU 14. Fouls--Lewis 15, QU 15. Fouled out--Gobald.