ST. LOUIS — After hitting 18 3-pointers and playing a nearly perfect game against North Arkansas Saturday, the Raiders had no answers to sway the momentum in their favor against Southwestern Illinois on Sunday. Sophomore Tristan Jarrett's fourth 30-point game of the season wasn't enough to boost Three Rivers in a 98-77 loss to SWIC in St. Louis. The Raiders couldn't figure out how to solve the problems they had on their hands in Javonte Perkins and Destan Williams. Perkins finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Williams tallied 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead SWIC. "We knew that Perkins was a special player," Three Rivers coach Gene Bess said. "But (Williams), he hadn't been much of a factor last year, and he just dominated, took care of the ball, distributed the ball, guarded well and maybe hit some shots I didn't think he was going to hit. Both of those guys were dominant." Three Rivers had a nightmarish day on the glass. Perkins and Williams out-rebounded the entire Raiders roster 27 to 16, and overall, SWIC was plus-28 on the boards (44 to 16). "We don't rebound quick shots. I think that's the nature of basketball, you've gotta work the ball a little bit to become consistent rebounding," Bess said. "We're trying to work through on some of that stuff. We know that when you get out-rebounded almost three to one, you don't have a chance. That was what killed us as much as anything." The offense shot serviceable numbers from the floor at 45 percent, led by Jarrett's 37 points and six assists on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor in 35 minutes, but the defense was unable to string together stops to keep the game within reach. SWIC (5-3) shot 54 percent from the field, just under 52 percent from behind the arc and 85 percent (17-of-20) from the freethrow line. Three Rivers shot 8-of16 from the line. Three Rivers (6-6) fell behind by double figures eight minutes into the game but kept the deficit manageable for most of the first half. Jarrett nailed a trey to bring Three Rivers back within six at the halfway mark of the first half. Two made free throws from Perkins and a layup from Dwayne Rose stretched the SWIC lead back to 10. Rose finished with 14 points in 16 minutes. "We weren't really prepared at the start of the game the way we should've been," Bess said. "They just came after us, and they were really motivated. We'd beaten them there last year, and I think they had time to figure out that they were going to play a lot better this year, and they did." Kevin Caldwell put SWIC ahead by double figures for good when he nailed a 3-pointer with five minutes to go in the half. The 3 sparked a 15-7 scoring burst heading into halftime
When the second half arrived, the Raiders were still unable to contain SWIC's offense. Jordan Notch stretched the lead to 20 points with a layup five minutes into the second half. SWIC led by a game-high 25 points when Trevor Davis knocked down a triple with five minutes left. Freshman Hayden Sprenkel knocked down a 3 to pull Three Rivers within 20 with two minutes remaining, but there was no run in sight as Tyler Joest answered with a 3 of his own to seal a 21-point win over the Raiders. Sprenkel was Three Rivers' secondleading scorer with 12 points.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic