Lady Warriors find little resistance in rout of SWIC
MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- In many of the Wabash Valley College women’s basketball games you can tell very early on whether an opponent has what it takes to compete with the No. 6 ranked Lady Warriors.
For an undermanned Southwestern Illinois College team, it was evident they didn’t have the firepower to compete with the Lady Warriors, who blew past SWIC 127-61.
It’s unclear how many teams in the country can defeat the Lady Warriors when they play like they did tonight though. WVC sophomore Alexis Thomas had a historical night, recording 11 3-pointers and 33 points in the Lady Warriors victory. There was some dispute as to whether or not Thomas actually holds the WVC record or not. One alumni unofficially scored 13 3-pointers many years ago, but it was not submitted to the NJCAA. So technically, Thomas appears to hold the record at Wabash Valley College (officially), and just two off the national record regardless of gender. One thing that’s not up for debate, she put on an absolute show on Saturday night.
“11 threes in a game is something I’ve never been a part of,” WVC women’s basketball head coach Jack Trosper said. “I told people this all year long, she’s the best shooter I’ve ever coached and it’s not really close. How well she can shoot, how fast she can get it off, she needs no time, no space. We’ve seen that in practice a lot, she’s someone who consistently works hard, does what she’s supposed to and it was awesome to see her kind of reap the benefits tonight with that shooting performance.”
You could tell very early on it was Thomas’ night and there was little SWIC could do to stop her other than deny her the ball. When the sophomore had the slightest bit of room, she was in total rhythm.
“The first three went in and after that I knew,” Thomas spoke of her sharpshooting performance. The goal was just wide open. Pretty much everything I threw up there was going in.”
She scored four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the ballgame, giving you the feel it was going to be a big night for her. With Thomas’ unconscious shooting and a Lady Warriors team burning SWIC in the full-court, they blazed right past SWIC in the first half.
Thomas finished 18 points, all on 3-pointers in the first half and the Lady Warriors led 62-31.
The sharpshooting Thomas continued her spectacular shooting night right out of the break, coolly knocking down three more 3-pointers within the first three minutes of the first half, pushing her to nine 3-pointers and 27 points.
WVC’s regular platooning kept Thomas on the bench for much of the remainder on the second half, but she came out eyeing the official record at WVC in the fourth quarter. Thomas began the fourth quarter on the floor and nailed her 10th 3-pointer of the night just around two minutes into the quarter. She set the record at 11 threes with 6:10 remaining in the game and was immediately pulled by coach Trosper after hitting the last one. The players, coaches and Thomas all knew what the record was and how close Thomas was.
The Lady Warriors cruised for the remainder of the game, defeating SWIC by an astonishing 66-point margin. Coach Trosper felt it was arguably their most complete game of the season.
“I thought it was a complete game for us,” coach Trosper said. “Some games the score can show different things, but today I thought we played a complete game from start to finish. They made a lot of shots, but they took a lot of tough ones. For us, something I was really proud of was they made six twos all game. It just showed we controlled the paint and things like that. Then we were able to score, make a lot of shots, we shared the ball well, I think we had 39 assists in the game. That kind of shows how well we move the ball and when someone makes 11 threes in a game, that certainly helps too.”
Interestingly enough, Thomas said practice is more difficult for the Lady Warriors than games. It seems crazy to think about, but with their deep rotation of talent, it’s no wonder why the Lady Warriors come out so well prepared against opponents.
“That’s how it should be, that’s something that’s important in our program,” coach Trosper said. “We’re talented and we know we have a talented group and so we want to make sure we’re getting better each day no matter what’s happening. The only way to do that is to have great practices and competitive practices. Coming down the stretch, having the success we’ve had, it could be easier to relax and take a few games off, a few days off, but that’s only going to hurt us later if we do that. It’s our jobs to try to keep making practices as competitive as possible so when that time does come, where we’re going to be a highly contested game, our girls are going to be prepared for it.”
Joining Thomas in double-digits on her historic scoring night, sophomore Jordyn Dawson with 16 points, sophomore Kyra Hogan scoring 16 points, Julia Luna scoring 11 points, freshman Pearl Dean with 10 points and eight rebounds, and freshman KK White with 10 points.
The Lady Warriors controlled just about all aspects of the game, outrebounding SWIC 50-21, dishing 39 assists to SWIC’s 13, outscoring SWIC 70-10 in the paint, and notably having just three turnovers.
Wabash Valley improved to 19-0 with the victory and remain unblemished.
They’ll have a week off before returning to action at Southeastern Illinois College. The game’s scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off. Coach Trosper’s hoping his girls will continue their strong play as the season winds down.
“We’ll take a little bit more time so we’re more rested,” coach Trosper said. “We’re at game 19 so far, so it’s been a long season so far. It’s important that we get some rest when we can, so we’ll definitely utilize this “bye week” from the bumps and bruises. These next 10 games will be very impactful as to how we play in March.”
WVC -- 30 32 33 32 -- 127
SWIC -- 13 18 20 10 -- 61
WVC scoring: Thomas 11 0 33, Dawson 7 2 16, Hogan 7 2 16, Luna 3 2 11, Dean 5 0 10, White 5 0 10, Patton 4 1 9, Aikens 4 0 8, Hunter 4 0 8, Hunt 2 0 4, Joyner 1 0 2.