It took Shawnee Community College (Ill.) 17 minutes to get its first field goal. "This bunch likes to guard a little bit. This bunch really likes to guard," Three Rivers women's basketball coach Jeff Walk said. Shawnee scored one point in the first quarter and 13 in the first half. After 20 minutes of play, the Saints had two field goals, shot 6 percent from the field and were down by 33 points. Three Rivers went on to win 80-37 on Friday at the Bess Activity Center. "It's crazy, it's pretty crazy, but it's not impossible. I feel like they shouldn't have even gotten two (field goals)," Three Rivers' Kahliya Murry said. After halftime, the defense hardly relented. Three Rivers opened in a 1-3-1 zone and forced two errant shots just before the shot clock buzzer and a 10-second violation. "With our length, we are able to spread people out," Walk said. "It's hard to get a shot off because we are spread out clear to the 3-point line." Added Murry, "Practice is a lot harder than the game. We go through scenarios like that all the time where if things don't go our way, or if they go our way too much, we have to stay settled and stay focused … Even though we were up by that much, we still have to prepare for competition." Three Rivers also held Shawnee to eight points in the fourth quarter, meaning through four games, Three Rivers (4-0) has held an opponent to single digits in a quarter four times.
Lindenwood-Belleville JV was held to three points in Three Rivers' season opener, and Southeastern Illinois had six points on Nov. 5. As part of that defensive shellacking, the Lady Raiders went on a 29-point run and led by as much as 46 points in the game. "Communication was great tonight, just movement, everybody's rotation, being alert. I think in the beginning we weren't as alert as we could be and as the game went on, we just meshed. It was great," Murry said. Ironically, they did not lead wire to wire. Shawnee (0-3) opened the game with a free throw, and didn't put the ball through the net again for about 12 minutes. Shawnee finished the game with 16 percent shooting and was 1 for 16 (6.3 percent) on 3-pointers. The Saints are shooting 19 percent for the season and are 174th in the country in shooting percentage. Alex Kohler led Three Rivers with 14 points off the bench to go with four rebounds. Casey Douglas had a season-high 13 points and six rebounds on 6 for 11 shooting and Sydni Williams added 11 points and eight rebounds. Three Rivers had 16 blocks and 18 steals. Following the game, Three Rivers jumped to 15th in the country in opponents' field goal percentage (28.3). The Raiders were also fifth in blocks per game (7.5) and eighth in steals per game (18.3). Murry got nine blocks and nearly finished with 10, but the potential 10th swat sent its Saint victim sprawling out of bounds and Murry was called for the foul. "I think it was a statement that needed to be made … just a subtle statement," Murry said. She also had eight rebounds as Three Rivers outrebounded Shawnee 52-39. Kameshia Moxley had 10 points to lead Shawnee after going 8 for 12 on free throws. She was also 1 for 15 shooting and committed eight turnovers. Only Nykia Mcgee, who was 4 for 7 shooting for nine points, shot 50 percent or better. Shawnee had six players miss every shot they took.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic