Women's College Basketball

Hawks' Lantz continues to grow game

Lewis University’s Stephanie Hart attempts to block a shot attempt by QU’s Laney Lantz at Pepsi Arena on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 18, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY -- The end result wasn't what Laney Lantz wanted, but her decision to attack the Lewis defense from a different angle drew a foul and got her to the free-throw line.

That's nearly as good as a basket.

A freshman guard on the Quincy University women's basketball team, Lantz made both free throws as part of a 23-point effort in the Hawks' 70-54 loss Thursday night at Pepsi Arena. But what that singular play showed was the continued growth in her game.

Lantz has scored 48 points in the last two games, beating defender after defender off the dribble but mainly from the right side of the floor and scoring with her right hand. In the second half against Lewis, she seized the opportunity to drive from the left side.

It happened only twice, but it was enough to make the defense take note.

"She needs to do that more," QU coach Jeni Garber said.

Lantz will as her confidence soars.

The former Central-Southeastern all-stater is the Hawks' second-leading scorer at 11.2 points per game and among the Great Lakes Valley Conference's top free-throw shooters at 83.3 percent. She's shooting 45.8 percent from the field and discovering how to consistently score.

She's been in double figures four of the last five games, netting a career-high 25 points against Missouri S&T. The scoring has been buoyed by her fearless nature as she hasn't shied away from contact while attacking off the dribble.

It's allowed her to go 30 of 35 from the line.

"She's still developing and it's good to see her improve in the middle of the season because sometimes that's hard to do," Garber said. "That's especially true for a freshman making the transition to the college game, but she works on her game and has a really good mentality."

And an even better touch.

Lantz is 15 of 27 from the field in the last two games and has shot 50 percent or better in six of the last seven games,

"I still get nervous before every game," Lantz said. "My upperclass teammates really help calm me down, but I am finally getting things figured out."

There were some expectations it would happen quicker after Lantz scored 23 points in the Hawks' exhibition victory over SIU-Edwardsville. A 17-point effort in the second game of the regular season against Wisconsin-Parkside added to the anticipation Lantz was ready to take over.?Some hiccups occurred, like a five-game stretch in which she didn't score more than eight points and had just two points in a loss to Lindenwood. But Lantz didn't give in, worked hard in practice and steadily discovered how to score in a variety of ways.

That effort was bolstered by the continual support of her teammates.

"Our team chemistry is coming together," Lantz said. "Playing with the girls is a lot easier."