Stevenson buries clinching 3-pointer to help QU women rally past Rockhurst, even GLVC record at 7-7
QUINCY — When she caught the pass from Karsyn Stratton at the top of the key, Taya Stevenson swears she never hesitated.
Even though she hadn’t taken a 3-point shot the entire game. Even though she was only a 27 percent 3-point shooter this season.
“I think I have confidence in myself, and my teammates have confidence in me,” Stevenson said. “I knew they had my back, and I had teammates in there to rebound, so I felt good shooting.
“Because if I hesitate, I’m not going to make it.”
Stratton caught an inbounds pass from Cymirah Williams from the baseline, and when a Rockhurst defender fell, another Rockhurst defender left Stevenson alone at the top of the key to help. Stratton then whipped the ball to Stevenson, and the junior from Tasmania, Australia, drained the game-clinching 3-point shot with 41 seconds to play as the Quincy University women’s basketball team posted a 62-55 victory over Rockhurst on Thursday night at Pepsi Arena.
“To be honest, because she’s been in the gym and because we’ve been working on those kick-out threes, I think the entire bench was like, ‘Winner,’” QU coach Courtney Boyd said. “Let’s just win the game with that shot.
“Probably a month ago, if anybody gets that kick-out three, we’re probably trying to take somebody off the dribble and go to the free-throw line. But she had confidence when she caught it. I’m not ever going to tell them that they have a red light in that situation.”
The victory helped Quincy (8-12 overall) even its record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference at 7-7, good enough for eighth place. Defeating Rockhurst (8-6 in the GLVC) will help the Hawks pick up needed points in the conference’s point rating system.
“This was a huge game, because when they go to that point system, you want to beat teams that have been winning, and (Rockhurst) has been winning,” Boyd said. “That was a really big at-home win for us.”
The score was tied 10 times. Quincy trailed 31-30 at halftime, and the lead was never larger than three points for either team in the third quarter, which ended with Rockhurst leading 47-46.
Rockhurst’s biggest lead in the fourth quarter was 52-48 when Macie Conway scored inside with 8:42 remaining. However, Quincy allowed Rockhurst to score one more basket and one free throw for the rest of the game. Rockhurst missed eight of its last nine shots and turned the ball over three times in the final eight minutes.
“Every substitution who we had on our scouting report who they put in the game was a shooter,” Boyd said. “If we didn’t have a hand in their face, we knew that they were going to shoot it.”
“When we play good defense, our offense flows,” Stevenson said.
Quincy tied the score at 52 on a layup by Williams and took the lead for good on a baseline drive by Stevenson. Paige Gamble’s free-throw line jumper pushed Quincy’s lead to three points.
Conway scored with 3:29 remaining to get Rockhurst within 56-55, and each team failed to score on its next two possessions. Williams made a driving layup with 1:30 to go for Quincy, and Stevenson came through on Quincy’s next possession.
Williams had 16 points for Quincy. Mariann Blass and Acheampomaa Danso had 10 points each. Williams also had 18 rebounds to help Quincy achieve a 46-29 rebounding advantage.
Boyd also pointed to the stat sheet, noting her team turned the ball over just 11 times. During a 69-60 loss to Rockhurst on Jan. 3, Quincy had 30 turnovers.
Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?
Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.