BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team showed that turnabout truly is fair play.
One day after getting torched for 30 second quarter points in a loss to Bryan (Tenn.) College, the RedStorm invoked their own scorched earth policy with a 31-point first quarter explosion in an eventual 83-68 thumping of Union (Ky.) College, Saturday evening, in the final round of the Union Classic.
Rio Grande improved to 3-1 with the victory.
Union dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
The Bulldogs enjoyed an early 8-6 lead following a bucket by Kaitlyn Stittums with 6:42 left in the first quarter, but Rio Grande went on a 15-1 run over the next three minutes and never looked back.
The RedStorm shot a blistering 61.1 percent (11-for-18) in the opening stanza and finished the period with a 31-14 advantage.
Rio Grande extended its lead to as many as 21 points in the second period before settling for the same 17-point cushion – 42-25 – at the intermission.
Twice in the third period the RedStorm’s lead reached 22 points and UC got no closer than 12 points – in the game’s closing seconds – the rest of the way.
Senior Alexis Payne (Deep Water, WV) scored a career-high 15 points in just over 16 minutes of playing time to lead five Rio players in double figures.
Junior Chelsy Slone (Gallipolis, OH) added 14 points in the winning effort, while the trio of junior Jasmine Smith (Canal Winchester, OH) and sophomores Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) and Abby Wendel (Portland, IN) all finished with 12 points.
Holden also had a game-high five assists, while freshman Jimi Howell (Barberton, OH) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Brooke Hammonds had 19 points and six rebounds to lead the Bulldogs in a losing cause, while Stittums tallied 14 points and Nannilena White tossed in 11 points.
UC finished just 22-for-63 (34.9%) from the floor and was outrebounded, 44-34.
Rio Grande returns to action on Monday night, hosting Wright State University-Lake in non-conference action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.