Rio Grande Sports Information
LIMA, Ohio – A strong start had the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team thinking rout in Tuesday afternoon’s non-conference game against the University of Northwestern Ohio.
As things turned out, it took a strong finish to save the RedStorm from what would’ve been a potentially gut-wrenching loss.
Rio coughed up a 15-point second quarter lead, but rallied late by scoring 16 of the game’s final 21 points to post a 68-57 win over the Racers at Racers Gymnasium.
The RedStorm, who completed a season sweep of their hosts, improved to 14-1 with a 12th straight win.
UNOH suffered its sixth loss in seven home outings and fell to 6-10 overall.
Rio bolted to a 20-9 first quarter lead and extended its advantage to 15 points on two occasions in the second period – 26-11 and 28-13 – before the Racers closed the deficit to just seven points, 33-26, at halftime.
UNOH maintained the comeback effort into the third quarter and grabbed its one and only lead of the day, 40-39, after a pair of Cori Dickson free throws with 3:31 remaining in the period.
Rio Grande regained the lead on its ensuing possession thanks to a bucket by junior Jasmine Smith (Canal Winchester, OH) with 2:58 remaining and never trailed again.
The Racers did manage to forge four more ties, the last of which came at 52-52 after a basket by Kierra Billingsley with 6:14 left to play, but the RedStorm got a bucket from sophomore Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) with 5:32 remaining to take the lead for good and start the game-ending scoring spurt.
Rio had 10 different players score in the win, but only Smith – the reigning River States Conference Player of the Week – was the only one to reach double figures with a game-high 18.
Holden and sophomore Kamryn Conaway (Lucasville, OH) shared team-high honors in rebounding with eight for the RedStorm, who shot just 38.7 percent (24-for-62) from the floor overall and 21.4 percent from three-point range (3-for-14) while committing 18 turnovers.
Emily Patton led UNOH with 16 points, but hit just three of her 18 field goal attempts in the game. She also had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Dickson added 10 points in a losing cause for the Racers, who hit just 17 of their 56 overall field goal attempts (30.4%) and were outrebounded 49-34.
Rio Grande returns to action on Dec. 30 when it travels to the University of Pikeville for a 2 p.m. tipoff.