RIO GRANDE, Ohio — On paper, Saturday afternoon’s River States Conference women’s basketball matchup between the University of Rio Grande and Cincinnati Christian University looked like a mismatch.
Outside of the game’s first 12-plus minutes, that’s exactly what it turned out to be.
The East Division-leading RedStorm survived an early spirited effort from the West Division-cellar dwelling Eagles before cruising to an 85-52 win at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande, ranked No. 21 in the latest NAIA coaches’ poll, collected a 22nd straight victory and improved to 24-1 overall and 12-0 in league play.
Cincinnati Christian dropped to 3-16 overall and 1-9 in the RSC with a fifth straight loss.
The Eagles trailed just 22-18 after the opening period and were down only 28-25 after a jumper by Kamilyah Bomar with 7:08 remaining in the first half, but the RedStorm reeled off 14 of the game’s next 16 points to build a 15-point advantage, 42-27, after a bucket by junior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) with 3:02 left before the intermission.
CCU got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Rio extended is cushion to 26 points by the end of the third quarter and its largest lead came with the 33-point margin of victory.
Rio head coach David Smalley substituted liberally throughout the contest, with all 12 RedStorm players seeing at least 12 minutes of action.
Sophomore Kamryn Conaway (Lucasville, OH) led 11 different scorers for Rio with a season-high 15 points, while junior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) and freshman Chyna Chambers had 12 points each.
Freshman Jimi Howell (Barberton, OH) narrowly missed a double-double outing for the RedStorm, finishing with nine points and a career-best 20 rebounds. She surpassed her previous career-high of nine rebounds by pulling down 12 carems in the second quarter alone.
Howell’s effort helped fuel Rio’s commanding 60-24 rebounding edge in the contest.
Bomar led Cincinnati Christian with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Dan’Shae Hill finished with 11 points and three assists.
The Eagles shot just 25 percent from the floor in the second half (7-for-28) and was 5-for-27 from three-point range.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action next Saturday, hosting West Virginia University-Tech for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.