Missouri Western women’s basketball couldn’t stop the outside shooting of Quincy as it opened its season with a 91-68 loss Saturday at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
Coach Lynn Plett knew that Quincy, who went 26-4 last season, would be a tough early test for the Griffons.
“Some people say ‘Don’t play such a good team early,’ but it tells us where we are,” Plett said. “We’ve learned one thing: That we’ve got to got to get a lot better defensively.”
The Griffons were playing close early with a score of 25-23 when Kassidy Shuman hit three straight three point baskets to open up a nine point lead for Quincy.
Shuman shot a blistering 6-for-7 from three point land in the first half, and scored 19 of her 21 points in the first frame.
“It was more deflating for the players and maddening for me,” Plett said. “I wish it would have been more upsetting for the players on defense. They don’t have to keep scoring the same way — make them score a different way.”
With the Griffons already down 10, Quincy went on an 8-0 run to push the lead up to 54-36 at halftime. Western played closer in the second half, but could never make it a game, as it was outscored 37-32.
Quincy connected 15 of its 31 three point attempts on the night, including 11 in the first half.
“They couldn’t miss tonight,” Brittany Griswold said. “We were helping on their drive, and they kept popping out and shooting it, and we just weren’t getting out there in time.”
6’4” Linsay Henke gave Quincy a size advantage over the Griffons, as she scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Quincy beat the Griffons for 19 offensive rebounds.
“I would associate that with our defense,” Plett said. “We would turn around and look, but we wouldn’t go to the boards, we wouldn’t box out, and they got second opportunities.”
Jessica Koch led the Griffons in scoring and rebounding with 19 and 8 respectively. She also added three assists. Griswold finished with 11 points.
After not playing in the first half, 6-foot freshman Stacey Mgbike scored eight points on 4-6 shooting in the second half, and showed flashes of athleticism.
“The biggest plus factor was Stacey,” Plett said. “She gave us good minutes. She’s the strongest player we have in the post. Once she figures out the offense a little bit better, she will be a good aspect for us.”
A scary moment came with one minute left on the game clock when Griffon guard Alex Noble hit her head on the court and lay motionless for a period of fifteen minutes. She was taken off the court by paramedics on a stretcher.
“Initial signs were good,” Plett said. “It was really precautionary to make sure everything was okay first and not move her too much to begin with. She had feeling in her fingers and everything. She could remember where she was and what she had for breakfast.”
The Griffons will try and bounce back in Golden, Colo., on Nov. 18 when they play the Colorado School of Mines. They will take on Colorado Christian University on Nov. 19 in the same location.