SELINSGROVE — Hoping for a spark, and maybe some consistency, Jim Reed and his Susquehanna staff made a number of changes to the River Hawks’ starting lineup Wednesday night.

There were some positive signs, but after a 78-71 nonconference loss to Neumann, the River Hawks are still searching.

Susquehanna was undone by an offensive drought that arrived at the start of the final quarter as the River Hawks suffered their second consecutive setback.

Nafisa Saunders scored 21 points, and Mariah Maciejewski chimed in with 16 points and nine rebounds as Neumann (5-3) halted a three-game skid.

Sadie Comfort came off the bench to score 17 points for Susquehanna (3-3), while Erin McQuillen and Nevin Hoenninger chipped in 14 apiece. McQuillen added eight boards and seven assists for the River Hawks in the loss.

McQuillen was the lone player from Saturday’s starting five to begin the game — Susquehanna lost its Landmark Conference opener to Juniata 66-58 — and the River Hawks never really got going until Hoenninger entered the game.

“We’ve got to find it,” Reed said. “Once again, we were down at the end of the first quarter and only scored 13 points.

“So, we didn’t get out of the box at all.”

Despite Hoenninger scoring nine of her 14 in the opening half, the River Hawks still trailed 32-28 at halftime. Neumann scored the last seven points of the first half and then opened the second with a 6-3 burst, a quick 30-second timeout seemed to energize Susquehanna.

Hoenninger connected for a 3-pointer about midway through the third quarter to give the River Hawks a 43-42 advantage. When guard Lauren Leicht stuck back a miss just before the buzzer ending the third, Neumann owned a 51-50 lead.

The Knights never trailed again.

Leicht’s offensive rebound was just one point of frustration that Reed talked about following the game — especially since Neumann came in yielding seven more rebounds per game than its opponents, but outrebounded the River Hawks 39-34.

Neumann also outscored Susquehanna 19-9 at the free-throw line, another displeasing nugget.

Both of those issues dogged the hosts down the stretch as Neumann had four looks at the hoop in one sequence before Minika Glenn buried a short jumper. The Knights also closed the game by making 11 of their last 12 free-throw attempts.

A drought at the start of the fourth quarter — Susquehanna managed just three field goals in the first five-plus minutes — also proved problematic for the River Hawks.

“We still scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and we had 43 points in the second half,” Reed said. “But that’s like the consistency of our team throughout the whole year. It’s like that in practice; it’s very inconsistent. It’s like that in games; it’s inconsistent.

“Two other things that are consistently showing up is that we get beat on the boards and we get beat at the free-throw line pretty badly.”

As a result, Reed and his assistants will be pondering plenty as they try to formulate a successful game plan for Saturday’s home game against Marywood.

“We’ll think it over,” Reed said. “I’ll watch the video, but I know we got outrebounded once again and I know they shot 22 free throws once again.

“(Right now), there’s no great answers.” 

 

NEUMANN 78, SUSQUEHANNA 71 

NEUMANN (5-3) 78

Nafisa Saunders 5-19 11-12 21; Mariah Maciejewski 7-9 2-2 16; Minika Glenn 5-15 1-3 12; Chelsea Keebler 3-7 0-0 8; Lauren Leicht 2-8 2-2 6; Maia Bryson 2-4 3-3 8; Aijea Fowler 2-3 0-0 5; Shanice Boyd 1-1 0-1 2; Jaylin Ortiz 0-1 0-0 0; Jess Cirone 0-0 0-0 0; Tierra Harris 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-67 19-22 78.

SUSQUEHANNA (3-3) 71

Erin McQuillen 6-15 1-1 14; Amanda Lemire 4-10 0-2 9; Rachel Sweger 1-5 0-0 2; Haley Timko 1-1 0-0 2; Maddie Murray 0-4 0-0 0; Sadie Comfort 5-8 2-2 17; Nevin Hoenninger 3-5 6-8 14; Alanna Connolly 2-3 0-0 4; Madi Welliver 2-3 0-0 4; Victoria Lombardi 1-1 0-0 3; Bailey Trell 1-1 0-0 2; Olivia Brandt 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 9-13 71.

Halftime: Neumann 32-28. 3-point shooting: Juniata 5-21 (Keebler 2-6, Fowler 1-2, Glenn 1-3, Bryson 1-3, Saunders 0-3, Leicht 0-4); Susquehanna 10-22 (Comfort 5-8, Hoenninger 2-2, Lombardi 1-1, McQuillen 1-2, Lemire 1-3, Murray 0-1, Brandt 0-1, Sweger 0-4). Rebounds: Neumann 39 (Maciejewski 9); Susquehanna 34 (McQuillen 8). Assists: Neumann 15 (Saunders 5); Susquehanna 14 (McQuillen 7). Total fouls: Neumann 15, Susquehanna 18. Fouled out: Welliver. Turnovers: Neumann 12, Susquehanna 19. A: 225.