Robert DeVries hadn't found the right rhythm in his jump shot, despite an increase in minutes as the Quincy University men's basketball team neared its Christmas break.
Sunday afternoon inside Pepsi Arena, the sophomore guard and his jump shot were in perfect harmony.
DeVries hit four consecutive 3-pointers in the second half and went 6 of 6 from 3-point range overall, scoring a career-high 18 points as the Hawks wrapped up the 18th annual QU Subway Holiday Classic with a 95-55 whitewashing of Ohio Valley University. DeVries, a transfer from Lake Land College, had been 6 of 26 from 3-point range prior to Sunday.
"It was a good feeling," DeVries said. "I needed it."
His sterling shooting was part of a 9-of-11 showing by the Hawks from 3-point range in the second half. They had gone 2 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half and talked at halftime about being aggressive going toward the rim.
However, a little more than a minute into the second half, DeVries caught a pass on the right wing in perfect rhythm and drained the 3-pointer. Three more followed as the Hawks turned a 12-point edge into a 20-point advantage in less than two minutes.
His final trey in the run came on pass from Demetrius Houston. A steal in the frontcourt by Marsalis Johnson gave the Hawks the chance to score in transition, and Bobby Frasco drove the middle of the lane, only to kick out to Houston on the left wing. Instead of attempting a 3-pointer which would have added to his career-high scoring effort, Houston kicked the ball to DeVries trailing the play in transition for another 3-pointer.
"I said, ‘Get the shooter the ball,'" Houston said.
DeVries appreciated it.
"That's what makes a great scorer a great player," DeVries said.
QU freshman point guard Ryan Briscoe had assists on four of DeVries's six 3-pointers and the Hawks finished with 13 assists and just nine turnovers.
"It's easy when you're passing up good shots for great shots," DeVries said. "You've got teammates looking for a shooter that's hot, and that really helps. We've got a team that wants to share the basketball."
DeVries is benefitting from it. He scored in double figures for the third time in the last five games and upped his season average to 6.2 points per game.
Briscoe shifts gears
One day after going 5 of 10 from 3-point range and scoring a career-high 31 points, Briscoe struggled with his shot. He went 1 of 7 from the field and 0 of 3 from 3-point range, finishing with just two points, but he drew rave reviews from the QU coaching staff for doing so many other things well.
Briscoe finished with seven assists against just one turnover. He also had three rebounds and made sure the Hawks executed their offense anytime they got out of sorts.
"He understands you don't have to score to have an impact," QU coach Ryan Hellenthal said. "I think our guys are all figuring that out."
The unselfishness led to every player getting in the scoring column. Houston and DeVries were the only ones in double figures, but five others had between six and nine points.
"Everyone on our team scored," DeVries said. "That's awesome."
QU Subway Holiday Classic
Missouri Southern won the tournament championship as the only team to go 2-0 following an 85-74 victory over Truman State. C.J. Carr, the senior point guard from Rock Island, Ill., was named the tournament MVP after scoring 23 points with nine assists against the Bulldogs. Carr had 17 points and 10 assists in Saturday's victory over Quincy.
Missouri Southern's Kinzer Lambert also made the all-tournament team, along with Houston, Truman State's Zach Fischer and Ohio Valley's Dylan Harrison.
The Hawks (3-8) head home for the holidays and a week-long break. They will return to Pepsi Arena early next week and prepare to face MacMurray at 3:15 p.m. Dec. 31.
Quincy returns to Great Lakes Valley Conference play Jan. 4 at Indianapolis.