Riding high after opening its season with a pair of wins and averaging 125 points in the process, the Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm men’s basketball team got a dose of reality on Monday night at Mineral Area College.
SWIC sophomores Quan Poindexter and De’Antae McMurray combined for 50 points but it was to no avail as the Blue Storm fell from the list of the ranks of the undefeated with a 108-87 loss in a nonconference game in St. Louis.
Poindexter led the SWIC attack with 32 points while McMurray added 18 for SWIC which, using its high-pressure defense and quick offense, managed to score 251 points in the first two games of the season.
The offense wasn’t bad against Mineral Area College, scoring a more than respectable 87 points. But it was on the defensive end is where the Blue Storm failed to get it done.
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“They (Mineral Area) lost to John A. Logan last week and I think really wanted to come out and make a statement against us. Plus, I think that after averaging 125 points in our first two games some of the players may have thought they were better then they are. It was a reality check for a few of them,” Blue Storm coach Jay Harrington said Tuesday. “In our defensive pressure, we’re going to give up some fast break baskets and dunks.
“Last night they (Mineral Area) picked apart our half-court defense. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. Some of the kids aren’t buying into what we’re trying to get them to do.”
Fans of Southwestern Illinois College basketball will get their fill this weekend at the first SWIC Classic for men’s and women’s basketball will be held this Friday and Saturday.
Mike Juenger, the Blue Storm athletic director and head women’s basketball coach, said on Tuesday that the event — the first ever held by SWIC — will consist of four men’s teams and four women’s teams that will each play two games in a modified round robin format.
In the women’s field are SWIC, Wabash Valley, Greenville College’s junior varsity squad and the Lindenwood University-Belleville junior varsity team, while the men’s field will consist of Lewis and Clark Community College, the Lindenwood -Belleville junior varsity team and the Missouri Valley College junior varsity squad and SWIC.
“It is just something we’ve been thinking about doing. An event like this gives us a chance to show off our campus,, our facilties and our basketball court,” Juenger said. “It will the women’s home opener and the girls are excited about having the chance to play here and with the good crowds we had for the fisrt two men’s home games, we’re hoping that people come out this weekend and watch what we think will be four good college games both days.”
Tournament action begins at 2 p.m. on Friday when Wabash Valley and hte LU-Belleville JV women battle, followed at 4 p.m. when SWIC will play Greenville College. The men’s ganes on Friday will pit Lewis and Clark taking on the LU-Belleville JV team at 6 p.m. followed by the Missouri Valley JV squad battling host SWIC at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, the women’s games will be Wabash Valley playing Greenville at 1 p.m., followed by the SWIC-LU-Belleville game at 3 p.m.
The event will conclude on Saturday when the Lewis and Clark-Missouri Valley game begins at 5 p.m. with LU-Belleville battling SWIC at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 and are good for all four games on both days.