With a GLVC Western division championship and first round bye, the QU men’s basketball team heads to Evansville, Indiana this weekend eyeing an outright conference championship and ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The second-seeded Hawks will take on seventh-seeded Lewis in the quarterfinals Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Ford Center in Evansville. Because Quincy won the Western division, they automatically advanced to the quarterfinals on a bye. Lewis advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating 10th seeded St. Joseph’s College 78-59 at home on Saturday.
Eight teams will be fighting for the conference championship as well as an automatic birth into the NCAA tournament.
The GLVC released their all-conference teams on Wednesday, and the Hawks will rely on their four All-conference stars, Joseph Tagarelli, Evan McGaughey Von Washington and Grant Meyer. Tagarelli and McGaughey were both named to the first team all-conference while Washington was named to the second team. Meyer was named to the all-defensive team.
Tagarelli, who is 35 points shy of the school record for points in a single season, was named first team All-GLVC for the second straight year. Tagarelli was named the GLVC player of the week four times this season. He will look to replicate last year’s tournament success when he was selected to the GLVC All-Tournament team.
“It’s great getting the awards, but we are all focused on winning and getting to the NCAA tournament,” Tagarelli said. “We have accomplished a lot of our goals so far this year, but now we have our biggest goals in front of us.”
Although the Hawks won the Western division regular season crown, they still must earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Hawks sit at four in the latest regional rankings, and while the top eight region teams make the tournament, the Hawks need at least a solid showing in the conference tournament to seal their place in the NCAA tournament.
“It’s something we’ve been working to all year,” McGaughey said. “We’ve enjoyed the success, but we want to make the NCAA tournament and make a run. We need to make a run and win the GLVC tournament in order to start that off.”