RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande built a double-digit lead with an 11-0 run to close the opening quarter and the RedStorm went on to post an 83-60 win over Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Saturday afternoon, in non-conference women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm, who were ranked No. 20 in the most recent NAIA Division II coaches’ poll, improved to 11-4 with the win and snapped a two-game losing slide in the process.
Mount Vernon Nazarene dropped to 9-7 with the loss.
Senior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) finished with a game-high 22 points and six assists to lead the RedStorm, while junior Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) tallied 18 points and freshman Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) netted 13 points in the winning effort.
Sophomore Jimi Howell (Barberton, OH) added a game-high 11 rebounds and a team-best two blocked shots for Rio.
Holden snapped a 12-12 tie with the third of her four first quarter three-pointers, kickstarting the run which gave the RedStorm a lead it would never relinquish.
MVNU did manage to pull within 35-30 following a three-pointer by Kayla Hovorka with 2:40 left in the first half, but Rio scored seven of the final nine points before the break and led by double figures the rest of the way.
The RedStorm, which shot just under 59 percent in the second half and just over 53 percent for the game, led by 19 points at the close of the third quarter and by as many as 25 points in the waning seconds of the contest.
Mount Vernon Nazarene shot just 32 percent in the second half (9-for-28) and was outrebounded, 20-12, over the final two quarters.
Dani Ellerbrock led the Cougars with 14 points, while Elizabeth Fee and Rachel Perry netted 10 points each. Perry also had a game-best three steals.
MVNU’s Taylor Gregory, who was coming off a 27-point, 11-rebound, seven-blocks effort in a win over the University of Northwestern Ohio, was limited to four points and five rebounds in the loss.
Gregory, who was averaging over 17 points and 10 rebounds per game entering the contest, did have a game-high four blocked shots – a category in which she leads the country.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Brescia University in a River States Conference matchup.
Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.