Through three games, the freshman class is creating havoc on defense while splitting up the scoring throughout the lineup for the Three Rivers College women's basketball team. Sydni Williams earned her second double-double in a row as the Raiders beat Southeastern Illinois 80-56 on Sunday at the Bess Activity Center in the conclusion of the First Midwest Bank Classic. Williams finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds, and went 6 for 8 on free throws. Williams also had 12 points and 12 rebounds against Olney Central on Saturday. The freshman forward is averaging 11.7 points and 10 rebounds in Three Rivers (3-0) first three games of the season, making her the team leader in rebounding and third in scoring. Three Rivers led from start to finish and was never threatened after opening the game with four forced turnovers and a five-point run. The Raiders led by at least 10 points after Lakeita Chappel's layup with just under 4 minutes left in the first half. Catera Sawyers' layup midway through the third quarter gave the Lady Raiders their first 20-point lead, and they led by as much as 27 in the fourth quarter. After holding Lindenwood Belleville JV to three points in the third quarter in their season opener, the Lady Raiders allowed six points in the first quarter to Southeastern Illinois. The Lady Falcons scored twice in the opening possessions, then went scoreless for 4 minutes. The Lady Raiders also closed the first quarter with a six point run in the final 2 minutes and Casey Douglas' jumper with 25 seconds on the clock gave Three Rivers its first double-digit lead, which held through the buzzer. Southeastern Illinois (0-3) was led by Lawrencia Simon, who came off the bench for 13 points. Demitria Heard added 12 and Keaubree Edwards got 10.
The Lady Falcons shot 35 percent overall, but were 1 for 15 (6.7 percent) on 3-pointers. For of the Lady Raiders' five starters finished in double figures. After Williams, Chappel had 13 points and four rebounds. DeNayia Holmes and Hailee Erickson each had 10. Holmes also had four steals and three assists while Erickson grabbed three rebounds to go with two assists and two steals. Eleven of the 12 Raiders made a field goal as the team shot 38 percent. Three Rivers forced 35 turnovers and had 28 points off turnovers, and are currently averaging 31.3 turnovers and 31 points off turnovers per game. Through three games, the Lady Raiders' top three scorers are freshmen, with the outside shooter Erickson leading the way at 12.3 points. Erickson is taking seven 3-pointers a game so far and making a third of them. Chappel, who also had a double-double against Olney Central, is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds. The Lady Raiders host Shawnee at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Wabash Valley on Saturday at 3 p.m. before beginning an extended road schedule where they will play just three home games between Sunday and Jan. 27.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic