RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Phillip Hertz scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Bilal Young narrowly missed a “double-double” of his own with 19 points and nine rebounds in the University of Rio Grande’s 98-70 win over Wilberforce University, Saturday evening, in the 8th Annual Newt Oliver Coaches Classic at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm, which won for the 34th time in 40 all-time meetings with the Bulldogs, improved to 7-3 with the victory - the program’s best 10-game start since it opened the 2008-09 season at 9-1.
Wilberforce slipped to 3-14 with the loss.
The Bulldogs bolted to a 5-0 lead inside the game’s first 90 seconds, but the game was all Rio Grande from that point on.
The RedStorm led just 16-15 following a three-pointer by Wilberforce’s Sean Cassidy with 12:11 remaining in the first half, but a 26-6 run over the next nine minutes allowed Rio to open up a 21-point cushion which eventually settled at 19 points, 47-28, by halftime.
The Bulldogs got no closer than 17 points at any stage of the second half and Rio Grande enjoyed its largest lead of the contest, 96-64, after a three-pointer by senior guard Ricky Tisdale (Bolivar, TN) with 1:07 left to play.
Hertz, a sophomore forward from Rungsted Kyst, Denmark, scored 13 of his 23 points in the second half. Young, a freshman forward from Cleveland, Ohio, had 11 of his 19 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Tisdale and junior guard Travis Elliott (Ironton, OH) also reached double figures in the win, scoring 16 and 11 points, respectively. Senior guard Jermaine Warmack (Orange, NJ) added a game-high six assists.
Rio Grande shot 46 percent from the field overall (37-for-80), including 52.6 percent in the second half (20-for-38). The RedStorm were also 13-for-13 from the free throw line.
Wilberforce shot just under 39 percent from the field, but shot just 27 percent in the opening half and committed 21 turnovers.
Cameron Luckett led the Bulldogs with 20 points, while Patrick Mitchell finished with 13 points and Devontae Berry had 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in a losing cause.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday afternoon in a rare matinee game, when Ohio Christian visits for a 12:30 p.m. tipoff. The game will be played in front of the Rio Grande Elementary School student body.