The Chipola (Fla.) College Indians proved to be to big of a challenge for Southwestern Illinois College on Monday as they defeated the Blue Storm 78-62 in the first round of the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Salina, Kan.
Sophomore Rayven Brooks connected on four 3-point shots and scored 16 of her 29 points in the first half as Chipola (28-6) used scoring spurts of 11-2 and 10-0 to take a 40-25 lead at half-time.
The 10th-seeded Indians then scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 22-point lead before sophomore all-American Janelle Cannon put SWIC on the scoreboard with just under 18 minutes left in the game.
Making its second straight national tournament appearance and fourth in 15 years, SWIC (25-6) would get no closer then 16 points the rest of the way.
Getting six early points from LaShonda Littleton, Chipola broke out to an 11-2 lead.
The Blue Storm responded. Freshman Breanna Baker scored twice and when Danielle Duncan nailed a 3-point shot, SWIC closed to within 18-14 midway in the first half.
But with Brooks connecting on two 2 3-point shots to lead the way, the Indians put together a backbreaking 22-11 spree during the final seven minutes to take a 15-lead at the half.
Littleton added 13 points and Trayvonna Brooks chipped in with 11 for Chipola which will take on seventh-seed Southern Idaho at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Cannon, closing out her brilliant SWIC career, paced the Blue Storm with 24 points. Cannon entered play on Monday leading the nation in scoring at 25.8 points per game. Danielle Duncan chipped in with 16 points while Baker added 14 for the Blue Storm.
Cannon and Duncan also combined for 12 of SWIC's 19 turnovers. The Blue Storm was also just 3-of-19 from beyond the 3-point arc.