BELLEVILLE — The Southeastern Illinois College Falcons were a team in the wrong place at the wrong time on Wednesday at Southwestern Illinois College.
Showing no signs of an emotional hangover after a four-point loss to national power Vincennes University on Monday, SWIC jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back in a 74-41 triumph in a Great Rivers Athletic Conference game.
With former Alton High School standouts JaQuail Townser and Tony Bradley both connecting on 3-point baskets and Brandon Book and Keanu Post also scoring, it took just 2 minutes and 7 seconds for SWIC to get up by double digits.
Southeastern Illinois would get no closer than eight points the rest of the night.
The fast start was just what Blue Storm coach Jay Harrington wanted to see.
"Just 48 hours after the loss to Vincennes I was concerned how we would react. It was great to get off to the quick start,'' Harrington said. "Instead of being down after Monday we were angry. Angry that we lost a game that we had a chance to win against the No. 2 team in the nation.
"We came out tonight to show people that we were going to use that emotional loss to make us a better basketball team. I was pleased. We played very hard.''
Making 29 of 57 shots from the floor and playing some relentless defense, SWIC dominated in its victory over one of the top programs in the GRAC.
With Book and Townser combining for 16 points and the 7-foot Post scoring seven points, four coming on dunks, SWIC led 40-13 at halftime.
On the defensive end, sophomore Tony Bradley keyed the Blue Storm's effort as he held Falcons sophomore standout Michael Walker to seven points.
"Michael Walker sat out last year, but two years ago he came in here and hit four 3-point shots when they beat us. I think of him as one of the best players in the league,'' Harrington said. "I thought Tony (Bradley) just did a great job on him.''
Book led SWIC with 12 points, while Bradley and Townser added 11 apiece.
In all, 11 SWIC players scored in the game.
"What I liked tonight was how hard we played from start to finish,'' Harrington said. "We told the team that it doesn't matter if you are the No. 1 player or the No. 13 player on this team. We want to see an all-out effort every second you are on the floor.
"We got that kind of effort from everybody tonight. That was great to see.''
SWIC 80, Southeastern Illinois 40
For the third straight game, the Blue Storm offense was clicking as it rolled past the overmatched Falcons.
All-American Janelle Cannon scored 13 of her 29 points in the first 10 minutes as SWIC (11-3) jumped out to a 25-6 lead. Southeastern Illinois would get no closer than 12 points the remainder of the game.
"We played very well. Janelle does such a great job of seeing the floor and she anticipates on both ends of the floor. We're getting better,'' Blue Storm coach Mike Juenger said. "The one thing that concerns me is our rebounding. Of their 40 points, I would have to say at least half had to come on offensive rebounds."
Freshman Bailey Setzekorn added 13 for SWIC, while sophomore Danielle Duncan had 10.
Freshman Megkinzie Carter finished with nine.
"Bailey and Megkinzie have the ability to play at this level and they showed that tonight," Juenger said. "With them it's a matter of gaining some confidence and believing they can do it. If they play like they did tonight, it will help us down the stretch.
"The big key though is our post players. Brea Gegg, Breana Baker and Sorriyah (Ranger) are the ones who need to step up and do a better job on the boards.''