BELLEVILLE — The sight of a Kyle Lemons jump shot is becoming a sweet one at Southwestern Illinois College.
One of the top offensive players in the St. Louis area a year ago while playing at Francis Howell North High School, Lemons connected on five 3-point shots and scored 24 points as SWIC defeated John A. Logan College 82-72 Tuesday in a Great Rivers Athletic Conference game.
Lemons scored 14 of his points in the first half as SWIC (7-1, 2-0 in the GRAC) took the lead.
John A. Logan would never lead after the opening seconds of the game. But faced with several double digit deficits, the Volunteers didn't wilt until the final five minutes.
Leading by five points with just over six minutes remaining, the Blue Storm put the game away with an impressive 8-0 run.
Sophomore Brandon Book, making his season debut after sitting out the first seven games with an injury hit a 3-point shot and a jump hook and when Ekene Anachebe scored inside, SWIC lead with just over three minutes remaining.
The Volunteers would get no closer then 10 points the rest of the night.
Sophomore JaQuail Townser added 14 points for SWIC while Anachebe and Book chipped in with 10 each
SWIC, getting 14 points from Lemons and a combined 13 more from JaQuail Townser and former Collinsville standout Falando Wilkinson, led by as many as 11 points in the first half.
The Volunteers rallied behind former Chicago Simeon player Darien Walker (13 points) to cut the lead to two, but Lemons nailed his third 3-pointer of the game to put SWIC up 42-37 at intermission.
SWIC 71, John A. Logan 45
The second smallest player on the Blue Storm women's roster at 5-foot-5, freshman Paige Buechele played a large role in the easy win for SWIC.
Buechele, a Lebanon graduate, hit three of her four 3-point field goals to highlight a 19-0 scoring run during an eight-minute stretch in the second half as SWIC broke open a close game.
With SWIC (4-1) leading 36-31 with 17 minutes left, Buechele hit back-to-back 3-point shots to start a scoring spree that wouldn't end until 8:36 remained in the game and the Blue Storm had a 55-33 lead.
Buechele missed her entire senior season a year ago with a knee injury.
"Paige hitting those 3-pointers were huge for us. The first half I thought we got out to a big lead, thought it was going to be easy and started standing around a little bit too much,'' Blue Storm coach Mike Juenger said. "The second half, I thought we came out and moved better, did a better job on defense and really rebounded well.
"Paige plays so hard and with what she's been through and basically not playing for an entire season, for her to come out and give us that kind of spark was great to see.
Sophomore LaTeesha Deloach followed with a 3-point basket and when sophomore Breana Baker followed with a pair of short jumpers, SWIC's lead was 49-31.
The Volunteers would not closer then 16 points the remainder of the game as SWIC's balance proved too much to overcome.
Freshman Laura Litchfield led SWIC with 21 points, while, Deloach (15), Baker (14) and Buechele (13) were also in double figures.
Another key for the Blue Storm was rebounding as Baker, Breanna Gegg and Sorriyah Ranger helped SWIC dominate on the backboards.
With Litchfield scoring 16 points, SWIC led 30-26 at halftime.
Coming off a GRAC loss at Wabash Valley College on Thursday, the Blue Storm missed its first six shots and didn't get on the scoreboard until Litchfield hit the first of back-to-back 3-point shots.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or email@example.com