Rio women overcome big deficit, top Patriots

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — If University of Rio Grande senior Sarah Bonar wanted to prove that the conference Player of the Week Award she received on Monday wasn’t a fluke, mission accomplished.

Bonar scored 24 of her game-high 32 points in the second half as the RedStorm rallied from a 20-point deficit late in the third quarter to defeat St. Catharine College, 96-83, Tuesday afternoon, in a non-conference women’s basketball matinee matchup at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Rio Grande, which completed a regular season sweep of its former Mid-South Conference rival, won its second straight outing and improved to 6-4 with the victory.

The Patriots lost for the third time in four outings and dropped to 4-11 overall.

Bonar, a native of Hartford, Ohio, who earned Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors on Monday after averaging 30 points in two games last weekend, followed up a career-best 41-point effort against Ohio Valley University last Saturday by going 15-for-24 from the floor and helping the RedStorm outscore their guests, 39-14, in a torrid fourth quarter uprising.

St. Catharine overcame an early 11-4 deficit to take a 13-point second quarter lead and stretched its cushion to as many as 20 points, 68-48, following a three-pointer by Cora Moore with 2:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Then the comeback began.

Bonar scored six points in a 9-1 Rio run to close out the quarter and pull the RedStorm within 69-57 heading to the final stanza.

The RedStorm kept rolling with 14 of the first 15 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed a 71-70 lead – their first advantage since a 19-18 edge with 9:49 remaining in the first half – following a pair of free throws by freshman Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) with 6:27 left in the game.

The Patriots reeled off five straight points to regain a four-point cushion, but Rio responded with 13 of the next 15 points and took the lead for good, 78-77, on a conventional three-point play by Carter with 4:08 left.

St. Catharine got no closer than four points the rest of the way and Rio’s largest lead was the final margin of victory.

The RedStorm, who shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half (21-for-35), actually sealed the win at the free throw line, going 16-for-18 at the charity stripe in the final quarter.

In addition to Bonar, four other players reached double figures in the win for Rio.

Senior Harley Adler (Burton, OH) had 18 points – including 14 in the second half – to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Carter scored 17 points – including 13 after the intermission, junior Sharday Baines (East Cleveland, OH) had 13 points and a game-high six assists and junior Aly Herren (Mason, OH) netted 10 points.

Moore led a quartet of double-digit scorers for St. Catharine with 22 points, while Kayla Wilson finished with 21 points and four assists and Emilie Harrell added 13 points and three blocked shots.

Miranda Wilson tacked on 11 points and four assists in a losing cause for the Patriots, while Patrice Tonge pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday afternoon against another former MSC rival when the University of the Cumberlands visits the Newt Oliver Arena. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.

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

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing