RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Taylor University’s Tommy Peller scored 18 points to lead a trio of double-digit scorers and the Trojans took advantage of poor shooting by the University of Rio Grande to post a 64-46 win over the RedStorm, Saturday afternoon, in the Giovanni’s Tipoff Classic at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm (1-1) shot just 29.1 percent from the field, hitting just 16 of their 55 shots.
Taylor, which improved to 2-0, also got 14 points from Nate Kasper and 12 points from Casey Coons in the winning effort. Coons also had a team-high eight rebounds and five assists.
The Trojans trailed 21-17 following a three-pointer by Rio sophomore guard Tykeim Moss with 4:26 left in the first half, but closed the opening stanza on a 9-2 run to take a 26-23 lead at the intermission.
It was a lead they would never relinquish.
A bucket by senior guard Kaleb Kimber to open the second half got Rio to within 26-25 and the deficit was just four, 34-30, following a three-pointer by junior guard Jermaine Warmack with 13:50 remaining, but the RedStorm failed to score over the next 5:38 of the contest and never recovered.
Three straight steals which resulted in scores got the Storm within seven with just under eight minutes to play, but head coach Ken French’s squad got no closer the rest of the way.
Taylor enjoyed its largest lead of the day — 22 points — twice in the final 69 seconds.
The Trojans shot 48.8 percent for the game, including a sizzling 60 percent (12-for-20), in the second half.
Warmack led Rio Grande with 12 points — all in the second half. He also had a team-best six rebounds.
Freshman guard D.D. Joiner added 11 points and shared team honors with Warmack with three steals.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night, hosting Ohio University-Chillicothe in the first round of the Bevo Francis Invitational Tournament. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.