Runs to start quarters enough for Lady Raiders

Three Rivers opened every quarter with a small, unanswered run. In those first few minutes combined, the Lady Raiders outscored John A. Logan College 22-0.

It was enough to hold off a late Logan rally as Three Rivers ended up winning 68-58 Tuesday at the Bess Activity Center.

"We didn't finish at all. We came out in the third quarter and just had no energy for whatever reason," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "We thought the ballgame was over, maybe. And maybe it wasn't."

The Lady Raiders (2-1) held Logan (1-2) scoreless for more than 4 minutes to start the game while Kaylee Heggemann hit four free throws and DeNayia Holmes got a layup to get the wire-to-wire lead.

Three Rivers opened the second quarter with seven unanswered.

Ge'Naisha Robinson, who led the Lady Raiders with 15 points and seven rebounds, put Three Rivers ahead by 10 with her opening bucket and had five of the next seven points thanks to several Lady Vol turnovers for easy layups.

After the half, Joya Smith hit a pair of free throws and Markeia Porter added a putback for another four points.

Holmes opened the fourth by drawing a foul and hitting the first free-throw, after a miss and a Lady Raider rebound, she caught a pass in the corner for a 3 and Robinson tacked on a free throw before the Lady Vols managed a 3.

"That's the difference in the ball game," Walk said of the early runs. "They were playing good enough defense on us in the second half that we weren't making shots."

The Lady Raiders defense held the Lady Vols to 10 percent on their 3-pointers and 26 percent overall, but they did allow Tiaunna Watkins to get 28 points and 11 rebounds on 50 percent shooting.

"I feel like we played pretty good defense in the third quarter … but we didn't want to play," Walk said.

Eleven Lady Raiders grabbed at least one steal with Robinson getting a team-best four.

Three Rivers' deep bench, bolstered by the return of guards Camdyn McDaniel and Alex Kohler, outscored Logan's bench 26-9.

"That is just going to give us more depth all the way around. Cam shoots the ball really well. Alex is probably one of the best point guards I've ever coached. It is just going to take awhile to get both of them back in the swing of things," Walk said. "Let's see how your No. 10 is against our No. 10."

Three Rivers struggled to finish strong, however, and their 26-point early fourth quarter lead dwindled 12 points with 2 minutes left, when they called a timeout and started killing the clock.

"We were allowing them to get in our heads and speed us up when we should have just slowed down and taken our time," Holmes said. "In the beginning of the game, we were hitting more shots and in the second half we weren't hitting as much and more people were getting down, hanging their heads instead of picking each other up."

Logan got a turnover and a layup to get within nine with a minute to go, poked away a steal near midcourt and Ariel Crump fought through a foul for the layup to make it seven.

Logan started fouling after that and Three Rivers held on late for a suddenly uncomfortable double-digit win.

"We were allowing them to get in our heads and speed us up when we should have just slowed down and taken our time," Holmes said.

Things were slow going after the opening tip. Both teams shot poorly and after 8 minutes there had been three combined field goals and none from outside the paint.

The tide turned at the start of the second quarter. Three Rivers hit three field goals within 9 seconds and matched their first quarter total of 14 points within 4 minutes.

McDaniel, back from a concussion, hit her first two 3s of the season in the second quarter to stretch Three Rivers' lead to 17 points. She made her first three attempts from beyond the arc, buried the second 3 from the Gene Bess signature and finished with nine points, all on 3s, in her first game back.

The next time Logan got within 14 points, there was 2 minutes left in the game.

Robinson put Three Rivers ahead by 20 with a three-point play with 90 seconds to go in the half.

The lead then straddled 20 points throughout a low-scoring third quarter. Everhart hit a 3 for her first bucket that pushed it to 23, Three Rivers' biggest of the night up to that point.

"Runs to start quarters enough for Lady Raiders"  09 Nov 2016:

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