Low-lighted by dismal shooting in overtime, Parkside’s attempt to derail No. 14 Quincy and their unblemished record Monday night ended in defeat.
Featuring a men’s basketball Great Lakes Valley Conference showdown, powerhouse Quincy University (7-0) (16-0) edged UW-Parkside 77-74 at DeSimone Gymnasium in Kenosha, WI.
After falling victim to a six-game losing skid, Parkside (2-7) (7-11) salvaged the winter break with a win at Northern Kentucky on Saturday. Unfortunately, the momentum couldn’t translate into a victory Monday night as the Hawks now boast a 31-9 all-time record against the home squad.
Utilizing pressure defense, the Rangers made offensive execution a difficult task for Quincy. Resorting to a low-percentage shot selection, the Hawks struggled with an 0-for-9 clip from behind the arc in the opening half.
Despite the success, 6’8″ junior Justin Brock displayed interior dominance for Quincy producing 19 in both points and rebounds. He also chipped in for four assists, two blocks and two steals.
With quick rotations by head coach Luke Reigel, UW-P consistently maintained a fresh lineup.
“A lot of different guys contributed off the bench and made plays for us,” said a disappointed Reigel. “We executed but didn’t when it mattered.”
Combining for 13 points in the first half, Parkside’s Sam Katula and Steve Jaskulske provided scintillating performances in a reserve role. Katula was invaluable totaling 17 points to go along with stellar defense.
“I’m willing to do the dirty work to help my team in any way I can,” said the sophomore guard. “Our team is young, but the way we played tonight just proves we can compete with anyone.”
Capping off the impressive start, freshman forward Jeremy Saffold drained a half-court prayer as time expired to secure a 34-31 halftime advantage. Saffold led all Rangers with 18 points.
Failure to sustain such an efficient effort opened the door for Quincy’s perimeter shooting to flourish. A barrage of three-pointers by forward Andrew Krueker vaulted the Hawks out to a 50-49 lead mid-way through the final half.
Following a 12-6 Quincy run which left a 7-point deficit, Saffold returned to the limelight by racking up five straight points off contested jump shots.
Sophomore guard Grant Johnson made a clutch steal with just under two minutes left but had his lay-up blocked from behind by Mookie Pierre. Johnson’s pivotal performance tallied 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Posting 19 points, Quincy senior Billy Baptist tied the game at 70 with seconds remaining by burying an 18-footer from the top of the key which resulted in overtime.
Looking to answer after four straight free throw by the opposition, Parkside knotted it up at 74 with buckets by Johnson and freshman guard Jamere Dismukes.
Down three with one possession left, the Rangers called on Johnson. Being provided no open space to work with, his long-distance attempt at the horn fell short as Quincy hung on in dramatic fashion.
“They kept putting more pressure on us and we didn’t handle our offense well late in the game,” Reigel said. “We just couldn’t put the nail in the coffin.”
Continuing a prolonged stretch of conference games, the Rangers travel to Maryville University for an 8 pm tip-off Thursday, Jan. 21. They return home the following Thursday, Jan. 28 to host Southern Indiana at 7:30 pm.