Men's College Basketball

Bench brigade gives Hawks needed lift

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 12, 2020 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 13, 2020 1:00 pm

QUINCY -- Neither play would be deemed poetry in motion, but when you consider how Adam Moore's back-to-back field goals impacted the Quincy University men's basketball team, they took on a more aesthetic appeal.

Hawks coach Ryan Hellenthal might say they were downright dazzling.

The Hawks trailed Missouri S&T 14-12 midway through the first half Saturday when foul trouble hit. Starting guard Ryan Briscoe and Austin Downing each picked up their second foul in a two-minute span and were relegated to the bench for the remainder of the half.

"Things could have gotten away from us," Hellenthal said.

Moore and the rest of the bench didn't allow it.

Moore started an 8-0 run with a three-point play in which he powered through the foul to make the basket and subsequent free throw. He banked in a 3-pointer on the next possession and provided hard-nosed defense and rebounding as the Hawks pulled away for an 88-81 victory in Great Lakes Valley Conference play at Pepsi Arena.

"Adam made some effort plays, which got us energized," Hellenthal said. "To me, that was the key to the game."

So were the efforts of freshman guard Justin Warren and junior forward Vik Kovacevic, who along with Moore combined to outscore the Miners' bench 18-3.

"Our second team was phenomenal in the first half," QU junior forward Tanner Stuckman said. "All those guys who came in played hard and played with great effort."

They played a pivotal role in taking the lead for good.

The Hawks (8-5, 2-3 GLVC) outscored the Miners 10-4 over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 39-34 lead into halftime. Moore's putback of a Charles Callier miss and Warren's jumper broke a 32-32 tie, and Callier scored the final three points of the half to give the Hawks the momentum.

Quincy shot 61.5 percent from the field in the first half and 55.6 percent from 3-point range in one of its most efficient halves of the season. The Hawks found their rhythm when they started moving the ball and moving themselves.

"It comes with us trusting each other more," said Downing, who had 14 points and five assists despite sitting the final 12:30 of the first half. "Coach was stressing in practice that we're really good when the ball is touching the third or fourth side and we're making that drive for another person.

"We're making that extra pass and it's showing."

Stuckman was the recipient of such solid movement, finishing with 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting as he caught the ball in space time and again.

"Playing without the basketball and moving the basketball. That's what it takes," Stuckman said. "We've been preaching playing as a team."

A jumper by Callier, who finished with 19 points, and a 3-pointer by Stuckman pushed the advantage to 10 in the first minute of the second half. The Miners didn't fold and whittled the deficit to four on two different occasions as C.J. Hedgepeth scored a career-high 32 points.

Still, the Miners never made it a one-possession game.

It's a sign the Hawks are figuring out how to start strong and finish strong, something they didn't do in losing at Rockhurst and William Jewell last week.

"That trip gave us a reality check," Downing said. "We were on too much of a high after being on a little win streak. Obviously, it hurts to lose, but it really woke us up."

The challenge is to maintain that mentality with better teams coming to Pepsi Arena next weekend. The Hawks will face Lewis, Illinois-Springfield and Truman State in a five-day span to complete a five-game homestand.

"It was good, a really good bounce-back weekend," Hellenthal said. "It's a send-a-message week for us. It's a huge week for our program."


Quincy University 88, Missouri S&T 81

MISSOURI S&T (3-8, 1-4 GLVC)

Hedgepeth 12-17 2-2 32, Scott 7-18 4-8 18, Fairless 5-10 0-2 10, Newt 2-9 4-4 10, Odoucha 2-7 4-4 8, Elmer 1-2 0-0 3, Muhammad 0-3 0-0 0, Berry 0-3 0-0 0, Lamb 0-0 0-0 0, Bushman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-69 14-20 81.

QU (8-5, 2-3 GLVC)

Stuckman 11-14 3-5 28, Callier 7-16 3-4 19, Downing 4-8 4-4 14, Briscoe 0-1 6-6 6, Fadika 1-2 1-1 3, Moore 3-4 11 8, Kovacevic 2-5 1-2 6, Warren 2-5 0-0 4, Champagne 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-55 19-23 88.

Halftime--QU 39-34. 3-point field goals--Missouri S&T 9-28 (Hedgepeth 6-9, Newt 2-6, Elmer 1-2, Muhammad 0-2, Berry 0-3, Scott 0-6), QU 9-18 (Stuckman 3-4, Downing 2-3, Callier 2-5, Moore 1-2, Kovacevic 1-2, Warren 0-1, Briscoe 0-1). Rebounds--Missouri S&T 36 (Hedgepeth 9), QU 37 (Kovacevic 6). Assists--Missouri S&T 14 (Hedgepeth 4, Fairless 4), QU 18 (Downing 5). Steals--Missouri S&T 9 (Scott 4), QU 4 (Callier 3). Blocked shots--Missouri S&T 2 (Hedgepeth, Odoucha), QU 2 (Callier 2). Turnovers--Missouri S&T 11, QU 16. Fouls--Missouri S&T 20, QU 18. Fouled out--Lamb.