Rio women start fast, whip Wilberforce

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

WILBERFORCE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande scored 22 of the game’s first 24 points and cruised to an 85-49 rout of host Wilberforce University on Wednesday night in non-conference women’s basketball action at the Alumni Multiplex.

The RedStorm improved to 2-1 with the win.

Wilberforce slipped to 1-2 with the loss.

Rio Grande, which reeled off 18 consecutive points during its game-opening run, stretched its lead to 26-4 with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter — before the Bulldogs countered with a 13-2 run of their own to close the deficit to 28-17 following a pair of free throws by Tivia Hylton with 8:32 remaining before the intermission.

The RedStorm regrouped, though, pushing the lead back to 18 points at halftime and continued to pull away in the second half, with Wilberforce getting no closer the rest of the night.

Rio’s cushion grew to 30 by the end of the third period and to as many as 42 points, 83-41, after freshman Cheyenne Scott hit one of two free-throw attempts with 3:28 left to play.

Junior Alexis Payne led a quartet of double digits for the RedStorm, netting a game-high 18 points.

Senior Brooke Marcum of Vinton tallied 14 points and shared game honors with 10 rebounds, while senior Sharday Baines and sophomore Jasmine Smith finished with 11 points each in the winning effort.

Baines also shared game-high honors with five assists and three steals.

Freshman Abby Wendel equaled Baines’ assist total and sophomore Chelsy Slone of Gallipolis tied Baines’ steal tally.

Tiera Thomas had 16 points to lead Wilberforce, which hit just 15 of its 59 field-goal attempts overall (25.4%) and 18 of its 41 shots from the charity stripe (43.9%).

Cortland Mullins had 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who also hurt their own cause with 23 turnovers.

The two teams were whistled for 56 fouls combined (33 WU-23 Rio) and attempted 80 free throws combined.

Wilberforce had three players foul out.

Rio Grande will return to action next Wednesday when former Mid-South Conference rival the University of Pikeville — an NAIA Division I Final Four team last season — visits the Newt Oliver Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing