QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- The calendar has turned to a new year and with it an incredibly difficult stretch for the Quincy University men's basketball team.
The Hawks were winless in last week's two game road trip which included a 15-point setback at fourth ranked Bellarmine.
Marty Bell's group returns to Pepsi Arena with their most challenging conference weekend of the regular season.
Sixth ranked Kentucky Wesleyan is the foe Thursday night followed by No. 10 Southern Indiana on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Scott Hahn says the Hawks are shying away from the intimidation factor.
"It's an incredible opportunity to say the least," Hahn explained.
"We had the chance to go to Bellarmine and play them and they're number four in the country, and I thought we played them pretty tough for the first 30 minutes. To have a team come in here right off Christmas break, and get our crowd into it, I think it's going to be a great opportunity for us."
Bell is confident his team will be ready.
"I think it brings the best out in your team. When you play good competition, it's going to bring out the best in you," Bell said.
"We had a rough week last week but we have a very resilient team and I look very much forward to them bouncing back this week."
The veteran players, most notably senior forward Tyler Thompson, are used to the weekly grind.
Thompson says the Hawks will have to play near perfect basketball to win.
"I think it brings the most and the best out of us. We know we've got to bring it, it's not like being on the road and it's a little more uncertain," Thompson indicated. "We got to bring it, both offensively and defensively."
"We're right there," according to Hahn.
"We're right there at that threshold and we've just got the find a way to push over that. It's kind of like this little hill and you've been working towards it, pushing up and pushing up, and now we've really got to get over that."
QU will play short handed this weekend, senior guard Ryan Stuckman injured his knee Monday and will miss both games.
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