BELLEVILLE — Beaten in every single phase of the game in a 30-point loss on Saturday, the Lewis and Clark College Trailblazers took out their frustrations on Monday on Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm.
Sophomore guard Davi Austin sliced and diced up the Blue Storm defense for 31 points as Lewis and Clark shocked a sparse turnout of SWIC fans with a 92-73 upset win.
Thottled in a 30-point setback to Kaskaskia College just 48 hours earlier, the Trailblazers found themselves in a 15-4 hole in the opening four minutes.
But led by the 6-foot-1 Austin, the visitors outscored SWIC 35-18 the rest of the first half to take a 39-33 lead.
When Austin and Serbian Melos Petrovic scored in the opening minute of the second half, the Trailblazers were off and running.
And they never looked back either.
They didn't have to.
"We just weren't ready to play tonight. We watched the tape of the Kaskaskia game yesterday (Sunday) and I don't know if the guys took them lightly or what. I have no idea why we weren't ready to play,'' Blue Storm assistant coach Steve Campo said. "Give (Lewis and Clark) coach Deon Thomas credit. He had his kids ready to play tonight.''
Burak Eslik added 16 points while Petrovic chipped in with 13 for the Trailblazers who took their biggest lead of the game at 23 points with just over seven minutes left.
SWIC (9-5), getting eight points from freshman guard Vashawn Ruffin and a pair of 3-point baskets from sophomore Sam Strus, got within 11 points with three minutes left.
But Austin hit a 12-foot jumper and Petrovic nailed a pair of free throws to increase the lead back to 15 points.
Sophomore JaQuail Townser led SWIC with 18 points, while freshman Romondo Ray, sophomore Brandon Book and Ruffin added 13 each. Looking to build on a big overtime win over Lincoln Trail College on Saturday, SWIC got off to a quick start against Lewis and Clark.
With Ray scoring twice inside and sophomores Book and JaQuail Townser connecting on 3-point shots, the Blue Storm jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the opening three minutes
That lead grew to 15-4 on an offensive tip in by Book and a 10-foot jumper by Townser.
But consecutive 3-point hoops by Davi Austin and Turkish import Burek Eslik seemed to ignite the Trailblazers.
Led by the super-quick Austin, Lewis and Clark took a 33-26 lead with under two minutes left in the first half before settling for a 39-33 advantage at halftime.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org