After suffering through consecutive losing seasons, Southwestern Illinois College women’s basketball coach Mike Juenger was hoping the addition of 12 new players would bring about a new winning attitude into the 2016-17 season.
It hasn’t so far.
Four nights removed from a season opening 41-point loss at Lewis and Clark College, SWIC committed 24 turnovers and managed just five two point field goals as it fell to Lincoln Land College 57-31 on Tuesday in a non-conference game.
Lincoln Land (1-1), getting four early points from former Havanna High School standout Emmi Fisher, led 13-9 after one quarter then used a balanced attack in the next two quarters to break the game open,. With 10 players breaking into the scoring column, the Loggers expanded their lead to 29-18 at halftime and 45-24 after three quarters.
SWIC (0-2) would get no closer than 21 points in the final quarter. SWIC, got a pair of 3-point field goals each from Jasmine Johnson and Analiese Osborne, managed just one 2-point field goals in the first 28 minutes. Aside from an occasional 3-point field goal, the Blue Storm had no offense for the second straight game.
And the Blue Storm’s lack of rebounding and 24 turnovers didn’t help the cause.
“We were hoping that we would come out and play better then what we did tonight. Now it appears that a couple of players have attitudes,’’ Juenger said. “We had five 2-point field goals, got outrebounded and committed 24 turnovers against a team which really didn’t put a lot of pressure on. Yet we have a couple of players who are developing attitudes.
“You bring kids into your program who say they work hard. But during the game or in practice maybe they don’t go hard as they need to every time down the court. This is like a job, You come in and you do your best every day and in every situation.’’
SWIC managed to stay even with the Loggers for the first eight minutes. Three point field goals by Osborne and former Belleville West tennis standout Kayleigh Thurwalker tied the game late in the first quarter at 9. But an offensive rebound and put back by Chloe Albert and a pair of free throws by Molly Smith gave Lincoln Land a 13-9 lead after one quarter.
Johnson then hit a pair of 3-point field goals — the second one of which got the Blue Storm to within 18-15 late in the second quarter. But Lincoln Land outscored SWIC 11-3 during the final three minutes of the half to take a commanding 29-18 lead. Freshman Bella Fisher led the Lincoln Land as she tallied eight of her 12 points.
Smith led the Loggers with 16 points, while Osborne paced the Blue Storm attack with 10 points.
The Blue Storm opens Great Rivers Athletic Conference play on Nov. 16 when it hosts Southeastern Illinois College.