DU QUOIN — Two-time defending champion Murphysboro jumped out to a 19-point lead in the first half and cruised to a 46-19 win over host Du Quoin to remain undefeated on Day 2 of the Lady Indians Tip-Off Classic on Wednesday.
"Defensively we were real good tonight, while on offense, we were ok," said Murphysboro coach Keith Jones. "We talked a lot more on defense than we did on Monday. We don’t have the firepower like we’ve had in years past, but I think we’ve got a group of scrappy kids that will go out there and get on the floor and play defense and work hard."
Murphysboro (2-0) has Friday off before playing Christopher in the Saturday morning session at 11:30 a.m. and finishing with Johnston City (0-1) at 3 p.m.
"That’s a really good ballclub," said Du Quoin coach Shawn File. "Kayla Walker is a very nice ballplayer and they got to the free throw line a lot (10-of-18)."
Walker led the Red Devils with 15 points, followed by Ashley Jarrett with 11 and Clarese Hibbler-Johnson with eight. Walker was also a force on the boards with 12 rebounds. Madison LaBranche finished with nine and Ciganovich seven.
The Red Devils defense forced 24 turnovers, with 12 coming on steals. Walker, Hibbler-Johnson, Jarrett, Ciganovich and LaBranche had two each.
"We moved the ball and got everybody into the game with passing, stealing the ball, rebounding and boxing out," Walker said. "Even if we couldn’t make any 3s, we still were able to score with what we were given."
Grace Haney led Du Quoin with seven points and Bailey Harsy finished with six.
After blistering the net with eight 3-pointers in the opening game against Woodlawn — a team-record seven by Arie Ciganovich — the Red Devils didn’t have any in the game against Du Quoin, but didn’t need them because they dominated the boards, outrebounding the Lady Indians 44-22.
"They had a lot of second, third and fourth chance opportunities and that was where the ballgame was really won," File said.
Murphysboro came out smoking, taking a 10-1 lead on two baskets by Walker, a basket and a free throw by Jarrett, two free throws by Hibbler-Johnson and a free throw by Ciganovich.
The Red Devils took a 12-3 lead into the second quarter on a jumper by Jarrett with 26 seconds left.
Murphysboro opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run, with Walker scoring five points on 3-of-4 from the line and a coast-to-coast basket after a steal.
Jarrett and Hibbler-Johnson had the other two baskets to extend the lead to 21-3 before Haney swished a 3-pointer to snap the 11-0 run. The Red Devils traded points the rest of the way to take a 27-9 lead at the half.
Walker opened the third quarter with a steal and ended the quarter at the line, splitting a pair of free throws to extend Murphysboro to 21 points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Red Devils remained hot, scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter on a two layups by Ciganovich — the second set up by a steal by Hibbler-Johnson — and a layup by Kylee Kerrens.
Christopher (1-0) won the opening game, 56-55, over Woodlawn, on a 3-point basket from the left wing by Laurent Kent with 0.4 seconds left. Woodlawn had taken the lead on two free throws by Madison Tiemann 5.3 seconds earlier.
Day 3 opens Friday, with Christopher playing Johnston City at 6 p.m. followed by Du Quoin (1-1) and Woodlawn (0-2).