RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Ali Zieverink poured in a game-high 30 points and led three Shawnee State University players in double figures as the Bears handed the University of Rio Grande an 82-60 loss in non-conference women’s basketball action, Wednesday night, at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The Bears, who were ranked No. 16 in the NAIA Division I preseason coaches’ poll, snapped a brief two-game losing slide and improved to 8-2 with the win.
Rio Grande suffered its second straight loss in falling to 4-3 overall.
The RedStorm also fell to 6-49 in the all-time series with its arch-rival.
Zieverink – who averaged just over 24 points entering the game – scored 15 points each in half, connecting on 13 of her 18 field goal attempts.
The Bears, who led from start to finish, opened up a 14-point cushion late in the opening quarter and pushed the advantage to as many as 19 points with just over 6-1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.
Rio Grande rallied to get within 10 points inside the final minute of the half and twice had the same 10-point deficit inside the first two minutes of the third quarter, but could get no closer.
Shawnee State, which had lost in each of its last three trips to Rio Grande, grabbed its biggest lead of the night – 24 points – with 46.6 seconds left to play when a pair of Jenna Brown free throws made it 82-58.
Both teams finished with 26 field goals and SSU committed 22 turnovers, but the Bears managed the win by outscoring Rio, 24-5, at the free throw line and outrebounding the RedStorm, 54-33.
Rio Grande was just 5-for-17 at the free throw line in the contest.
In addition to Zieverink’s big offensive night, Shawnee State also got 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists from Madison Ridout and 10 points from Ashton Lovely.
Jen Arnzen and Lydia Poe added 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively, for the Bears.
Junior Sharday Baines (East Cleveland, OH) had 15 points and seven assists to lead Rio Grande, while junior Brooke Marcum (Vinton, OH) finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Senior Sarah Bonar (Hartford, OH) also reached double figures for the RedStorm, tallying 12 points in a losing cause.
Rio Grande will return to action on Dec. 11 when it meets host Salem (W.Va.) International in the opening round of the Joe Manchin Classic.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.