OXFORD, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande men’s basketball team knew in advance that it would have its hands full in Sunday afternoon’s exhibition game against NCAA Division I Miami-Ohio.
A less-than-stellar start erased any hopes the RedStorm had of shocking the world.
Rio scored just three points in a stretch of just under eight minutes midway through the first half, allowing the RedHawks to blow things open en route to a 109-70 win over the RedStorm at Millett Hall.
Miami, a member of the Mid-American Conference, picked up its seventh win in 11 outings and remained perfect in four home contests this season.
Rio Grande, which was coming off a 21-point win at Ohio Christian on Saturday, remained at 5-9 overall.
The RedStorm trailed just 17-10 after a layup by freshman Ajdin Maksumich (Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina) with 13:23 left in the opening stanza, but scored just three points over the next 7:50 as the RedHawks methodically built a 23-point lead.
Miami’s lead ballooned to 29 points by halftime and Rio Grande got no closer than 24 points at any stage of the second half.
The RedHawks’ largest advantage of the game came in its final margin of victory.
Miami shot 62 percent for the game – including 64 percent in the second half – while enjoying a commanding 46-28 edge in rebounding and outscoring Rio, 64-24, in the paint.
Nike Sibande led five double-digit scorers for MU with 21 points, while Bam Bowman netted 20 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench.
The RedHawks also got 12 points and a game-high eight assists from Darrion Ringo, 11 points from Jalen Adaway and 10 points from Jake Wright in the winning effort.
Rio Grande was led by senior Will Hill (Worthington, OH) with a game-high 27 points, 20 of which came in the second half.
Sophomore Stanley Christian (Norfolk, VA) and senior Devon Price (Pickerington, OH) added 11 points each in a losing cause, while Christian had a team-best five rebounds and Price was credited with a team-high four assists.
The RedStorm shot just 36.4 percent from the floor overall (24-for-66) and were only 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. All seven trifectas came in the second half.
Rio Grande will return to action on Tuesday afternoon, hosting Ohio University-Lancaster in the annual Champions of Character Classic.
Tipoff is set for 12:15 p.m. at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.