First-quarter blues cost Hawks again

By: Will Conerly

The Quincy University women’s basketball team had a first quarter to forget.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming a trend.

The Hawks dug themselves a 12-point hole by committing 11 turnovers in the game’s first 10 minutes in Saturday afternoon’s 77-65 loss to Illinois-Springfield in a Great Lakes Valley Conference women’s basketball game at Pepsi Arena.

“We were just very hesitant,” Hawks coach Jeni Garber said of the slow start. “We were trying to run things to perfection instead of just playing the game.”

QU (5-13, 3-6 GLVC) have had back-to-back games of scoring only seven points in the first quarter. It also trailed Maryville by 10 points after the first quarter in an 84-57 loss on Jan. 17, it was outscored 19-5 in a 75-49 loss to Southern Indiana on Jan. 12, and Lewis took a 26-9 lead in the first quarter of a 91-39 loss on Jan. 5.

“Lately, our first quarters have been the death of us,” Hawks guard Maddie Spagnola said.

Michaela Gronewold, who had 15 points and seven assists, made a jumper with 7 minutes, 47 seconds to play in the second quarter to get the Hawks within 20-14. That was as close as QU would get.

After falling behind 19-7, QU played evenly with Illinois-Springfield. The score was 58-58 over the final three quarters.

Aleskandra Petrovic made a baseline jumper with 2:40 left in the third quarter, capping a 7-0 run to pull the Hawks within 53-46.

The Prairie Stars (5-11, 2-6 GLVC) extended their lead back to 12 points with Tehya Fortune’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Fortune made five threes and scored a game-high 23 points.

Quincy trailed by double digits for the entire fourth quarter. The Hawks dominated the boards, out rebounding the Prairie Stars 50-29. However, despite grabbing 22 offensive rebounds, QU only scored 12 second-chance points.

“We have to be able to convert when we give ourselves those shots,” QU coach Jeni Garber.

Grace Schraufnagel led QU with 10 rebounds, tying a career high. Six of them were offensive rebounds.

“My role is to get offense boards and give our shooters second-chance opportunities,” Schraufnagel said.

Spagnola scored a career-high 29 points last week against Missouri-St. Louis, but she had been held to less than eight points in three of the Hawks’ previous five games. She led QU with 17 points, scoring in double figures for the 14th time this season. Taylor Hickey made five of six shots and scored 12 points.

The Hawks will be on the road for the next five games, returning to Pepsi Arena on Feb. 23 against Truman State.

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