Quick start fuels Rio men in rout of Bears

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – More often than not, when rivals Shawnee State University and the University of Rio Grande meet in men’s basketball you can count on a nail-biting finish.

But that was not the case when the Bears and RedStorm got together for the second of their two showdowns this season on Wednesday night.

Rio Grande reeled off 13 straight points to open up a 15-1 advantage just 4-1/2 minutes into the contest and extended the lead to 36-6 with a little more than nine minutes to play in the first half for what eventually ended as an 86-53 rout of its arch-rival at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The RedStorm, who improved to 7-4 with a second consecutive victory, hit six of their season-high 14 three-point goals and had seven different players score in the early offensive onslaught.

Shawnee State (5-4), which dropped a 65-61 decision at home to Rio in early November, shot just 18.8 percent from the field in the opening half (6-for-32) and didn’t record its first field goal until the 11:17 mark of the opening stanza. By that time, the RedStorm had built a 26-4 advantage.

Despite the fact that Rio went scoreless for more than 4-1/2 minutes late in the opening half, the Bears managed to get no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

The RedStorm’s biggest advantage of the night was 36 points, 86-50, following a three-pointer by freshman Brendan Snyder (Canal Winchester, OH) with 3:07 remaining in the contest.

Rio shot 48.6 percent from the field overall (35-for-72) and was 14-for-31 (45.2%) from three-point range. The RedStorm also had 26 assists as a team.

Senior D.D. Joiner (Columbus, OH) had a game-high 16 points to lead four players in double figures for Rio Grande, which saw 11 of its 12 players who dressed for the game score at least two points.

Senior Dwayne Bazemore (Columbus, OH) added 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds to the winning effort, while junior Matt Rhodes (Westerville, OH) and senior Kevonta Black (Nashville, TN) netted 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Black also had a game-high seven assists and freshman Abe Eze (Lagos, Nigeria) pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds.

Shawnee State, which went 0-for-10 from three-point range and just 15-for-32 at the free throw line, was led by Nick Tingle’s 14-point effort. Frederick Moore added 11 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause.

Rio Grande will return to action on Dec. 12 when it hosts Wilberforce University as part of the Newt Oliver Coaches Classic.

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

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing