CHARLESTON -- Both team's colors are blue and white and both came in with .500 records, but that's where the comparisons end.
The taller, more talented Charleston Bluejays romped past the Notre Dame Bulldogs 85-63 in a SEMO Conference matchup on Tuesday.
"We're getting the intensity up," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "We've been playing hard our last three games since the loss to Kelly at the (Southeast Missourian) Christmas Tournament. If we continue to play hard, we're going to be tough to beat."
Charleston (8-7, 1-2 in the conference) came roaring out of the gate, sinking 12 of 15 field-goal attempts -- most from point-blank range -- in the opening quarter for a 26-12 lead. The Bluejays' 6-foot-6 senior post Ashton Farmer, led the offensive assault with 12 first-quarter points -- 22 in the first half -- on his way to a season and career single-game high of 32. He had four conventional 3-point play opportunities and converted two.
Farmer, along with 6-4 sophomore Jamarcus Williams, helped the Bluejays dominate the backboards against the smaller Bulldogs. Williams tallied 16 points, most on rebound putbacks, while another sophomore Justin Clark provided long-range bombs with 12 points, all from beyond the arc. Despite the lopsided score, Notre Dame coach Paul Hale was pleased with his team's effort.
"We gave a pretty good account of ourselves," he said. "We never quit. They just have so much more talent than we do. I thought (in) the second half we did better things." Trailing 45-26 at the half, Notre Dame (6-7, 0-3) battled the Bluejays on even terms in the third period, outscoring them 23-22 with 6-3 center Alex Ressel leading the charge.
Ressel, the lone Bulldog in double figures, scored 11 of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter. John Eric Klein had nine and Jeremy Brinkmeyer eight.
"He (Ressel) had a pretty good game," said Hale. "He hasn't had very many of those this year, so this might get him going and help us later on."
Charleston's junior varsity defeated Notre Dame 52-46.
Charleston hosts Sikeston on Friday at 7:30 p.m.