EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Quincy played the role of spoiler Tuesday as the Hawks defeated the SIUE women's basketball team in its season opener.
The Hawks posted a 70-65 victory at the First Community Arena in the Vadalabene Center. Guards Laney Lantz (23 points) and Aleksandra Petrovic (20 points) led Quincy.
"I thought we made a couple of little runs at them and had some good moments," SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher said, "but we gave up two many transition baskets. It wasn't a good defensive performance. We have to guard better."
Buscher added, "As frustrating as this is, it's one game and we have to get back at it. We will be fired up for our next game Friday."
The Cougars welcome sister school SIU Carbondale at 7 p.m. Friday. SIUE leads the series 3-2, including victories in the last two games.
SIUE rallied from a 46-37 second-half deficit against Quincy by using an 11-0 burst to go ahead 48-46 at the end of the third quarter. Ajulua Thatha, Mikala Hall, Allie Troeckler, Zaria Whitlock and Stallworth all punched in points during that spree.
Thatha, a freshman, also had a game-best eight rebounds to go with her five points. Troeckler collected eight points and six rebounds.
Quincy regrouped from its two-point deficit and shot ahead 61-52 with 5:54 remaining in the game. The Cougars closed to within 63-61 with 2:21 to play, yet the Hawks converted seven free throws within 25 seconds to widen their advantage to 70-61 with 17.2 seconds remaining.
Overall, the Hawks hit on 21 of 25 foul shots, with Lantz, a freshman, making 10 of 11 free throws. SIUE, meanwhile, connected on 15 of 25 free throws and 24 of 64 field-goal attempts, including 2 of 13 from 3-point land. The Hawks outrebounded the Cougars 44-32.
"You have to give Quincy credit," Buscher said. "Basketball is a game of wills and they came out and wanted it more than us. There's no doubt that we played good basketball in stretches, but we have to elongate those stretches."
SIUE led 21-14 early in the second quarter, but Quincy outscored the Cougars 22-10 the final nine minutes of the half to forge in front 36-31 by halftime. The Hawks used a 10-0 run in that stretch to wrest the lead from the Cougars. King's 12 first-half points led SIUE, while Lantz and Petrovic paced Quincy with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Following Friday's game, the Cougars remain home Wednesday, Nov. 13 for a 7 p.m. date with Evansville of the Missouri Valley Conference. SIUE's first four games are at home and seven of the first nine, including Saint Louis University (Nov. 20), IPFW (Dec. 4) and Loyola of Chicago (Dec. 8).