Anika Webster's talents are seemingly endless. Her leadership, meanwhile, is undeniable.
Last Saturday, when the Quincy University women's basketball team played host to Maryville at Pepsi Arena, a snafu with the sound system left everyone standing at attention while nothing played. The Hawks were lined up along the free-throw line and began looking around for some sort of indication of how to proceed.
With a litle encouragement from afar, Webster began singing the "Star-Spangled Banner." Her teammates and the fans in the stands followed suit, belting out a smooth rendition of the national anthem.
Webster went on to lead the Hawks to a 67-58 victory as she scored a team-high 14 points. It was her sixth straight game in double figures, and she has scored in double figures in 13of QU's 14 games. Her only game not in double figures was a four-point effort against Hannibal-LaGrange University in which she played only 14 minutes of a 42-point victory.
Overall, Wesbter is leading the Hawks in scoring 16.4 points per game, is shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line and is second on the team in rebounding at 4.6 boards per game.
Johnson on the mend
Marsalis Johnson, the 6-foot-8 junior forward on the QU men's basketball team, missed Thursday's practice with an illness, but he is expected to be ready to go Saturday against Illinois-Springfield.
Johnson has been one of the Hawks' most consistent offensive weapons when he stays out of foul trouble. He has scored in double figures in five of his last eight games, including a season-high 20 points in early December against Hannibal-LaGrange. Two of his three games scoring in single digits in that stretch were a direct result of getting into early foul trouble.
He played just eight minutes and scored two points in the victory against Ohio Valley, and he managed just 11 minutes and four points in the loss at Indianapolis. Overall, Johnson is averaging 19 minutes, 10.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 67.8 percent from the field, which would rank second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference is he had enough attempts per game to qualify. He'd also rank ninth nationally if he qualified.
Schraufnagel to see more minutes
So far, Grace Schraufnagel's minutes have been sparse. She's played in just eight of the QU women's basketball team's eight games and is averaging just 4.6 minutes per contest. However, the four minutes she played last Saturday against Maryville were as gritty and productive as any she's had all season.
Schraufnagel, a 5-foot-10 freshman from Verona, Wis., made her only field goal attempt, went 2 of 2 from the free-throw line, grabbed a season-high three rebounds, committed a foul and scored four points.
She was on th floor during the Hawks' 14-3 run that turned a six-point deficit into a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
QU coach Jeni Garber said she would like to get Schraufnagel additional minutes because of the toughness she brings to the floor.
Looking for bench help
The QU men need production outside of the starting five. In last Saturday's loss to Maryville, the bench provided just 11 points and went a combined 5 of 20 from the field and 1 of 9 from 3-point range. The bench provided just 10 points in the loss at Indianapolis, going 4 of 14 from the field and 2 of 7 from 3-point range.
The loss of Robert DeVries hurts immensely. The sophomore guard is still on crutches as he rehabilitates a sprained ankle. DeVries was averaging 6.2 points, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and had made 12 3-pointers.