WISE, Va. — The University of Rio Grande managed just four points over the final 8:16 of the first half, allowing the University of Virginia’s College at Wise to pull away and cruise to a 77-40 win, Thursday night, in Mid-South Conference women’s basketball action at the David J. Prior Convocation Center.
The Highland Cavaliers improved to 3-7 overall and 1-3 in the MSC.
Rio Grande, which suffered its fourth straight loss, slipped to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in league play.
The RedStorm trailed just 20-18 following a jumper by junior forward Kate Hammond with 8:16 remaining, but UVA-Wise responded with a 33-5 run that bridged the remainder of the first half and the first 6:11 of the second half to take a 53-23 lead with 13:49 left in the game.
Eight different players scored during the game-deciding spurt for the Cavs.
Rio Grande got no closer than 28 points the rest of the way and the final margin of victory provided the Cavaliers’ largest cushion of the night.
The RedStorm shot just 22.4 percent from the field (15-for-67), committed 22 turnovers and were outrebounded 55-42.
Rio also had to play bulk of the second half without the services of its leading scorer, senior guard Shardai Morrison-Fountain, who was disqualified after picking up her fourth personal foul and a subsequent technical foul with 14:01 remaining in the contest.
Head coach David Smalley’s club failed to put anyone in double figures and was led by freshman forward Julia Heaberlin’s seven-point effort. Freshman forward Betsy Schramm finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
UVA-Wise, which had 11 of its 13 players score in the victory, got a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds from Chelsea Cluesman, while Charlotte Reasor added 16 points and MaKenzie Cluesman finished with 11 rebounds and a game-high four assists.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday afternoon at the University of Pikeville. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The Bears dropped an 87-76 decision at home on Thursday night to No. 2-ranked Shawnee State.