BELLEVILLE — The Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm had their final pre-Region 24 tune-up went off without a hitch Monday in an easy 82-55 win over the McKendree University junior varsity women's team.
Sophomore all-American Janelle Cannon scored 15 of her game-high 26 points and Danielle Duncan canned three straight 3-point shots to key a solid SWIC effort in the first half as the Blue Storm (3-1) jumped out to a 48-29 lead.
McKendree would get no closer then 14 points in the second half.
"There are still some things we need to work on, but we played all right. After not practicing on Sunday this was a game we needed to play to get ready for Olney (Central) on Wednesday," Blue Storm coach Mike Juenger said. "I would rather be 4-0, but 3-1 is good because we came back and beat Mineral Area (College) after they beat us in our opener."
McKendree was led by former Carlyle star Ashlee Johnson's 18 points. The Bearcats trailed only 19-12 when Duncan, an O'Fallon graduate, entered the game and connected on three straight 3-point shots to key a 13-2 spurt.
Cannon and freshman Megkinzie Carter also added hoops for the Blue Storm, which expanded its lead to 32-13.
Duncan, who matched her age with a 26-point effort which included six 3-point baskets in the first half in the Blue Storm's 79-75 win over Mineral Area, continued to shoot well on Monday. Duncan finished with four 3-point baskets and 14 points.
"Danielle can flat out shoot the basketball,'' Juenger said. "But we also have to do a better job of getting the ball down low to our post players. Kids like Breana (Baker) and Sorriyah (Ranger) have to become more involved in the offense.''
The Blue Storm shared the wealth in the victory as nine players scored four or more points.
Defensively, the Blue Storm left a little bit to be desired.
"We were a little lax, maybe a little nonchalant on the defensive end. That's the kind of game it was," Juenger said. "But credit goes to McKendree. With only six players, I thought those kids competed hard all night. The McKendree staff does a great job of getting their kids ready to play."
SWIC opens up Great Rivers Athletic Conference and Region 24 play Wednesday when it hosts Olney Central at 5:30 p.m. The men's game will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org