RIO GRANDE, Ohio — In the game’s opening quarter, Rio Grande’s Sydney Holden made quick work of reaching a career milestone.
In the fourth quarter, with the final outcome still hanging in the balance, the senior standout led her team to a victorious finish.
Holden poured in a career-high 29 points, 11 of which came in the decisive final stanza, to lead the RedStorm to an 86-79 win over Indiana University East, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande, which picked up a sixth consecutive victory, improved to 11-6 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
The win also allowed the RedStorm to move into a first place tie with West Virginia University Tech in the RSC East Division.
IU East slipped to 2-15 overall and 0-3 in the league.
Holden, a native of Wheelersburg, Ohio, surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career by scoring 10 of Rio’s 23 first quarter points, but the RedStorm’s one-point cushion at the close of the opening period evaporated into a 38-31 halftime deficit.
Rio closed the deficit to 60-59 entering the fourth quarter and continued the comeback behind Holden in the final stanza.
Holden scored 11 points, handed out four assists, pulled down three rebounds and collected a pair of steals over the game’s final 10 minutes.
Ironically, she did not score – but did have three assists – during a four-minute, game-deciding 13-2 run by the RedStorm which turned a 71-all deadlock into an 84-73 Rio lead with 1:24 left in the contest.
` The Red Wolves got no closer than five the points the rest of the way.
Holden finished with 29 points, six rebounds, a team-high seven assists and a team-best four steals to fuel the winning effort.
Freshman Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) added a career-high 17 points for Rio, including four during the fourth quarter scoring spurt, while junior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) netted 10 points off the bench.
Three others scored nine points for the RedStorm, including sophomore Avery Harper (Seaman, OH), who pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
All five starters for IU East finished in double figures.
Kamiylah Bomar, playing in just her fourth game for the Red Wolves following a transfer from Cincinnati Christian University after that school closed at the end of the fall semester, had 19 points, nine assists and five steals in a losing cause.
Addie Brown and Megan Harlow netted 14 and 13 points, respectively, for IUE, while Regan Hune scored 12 points and Bryanna Bransford – like Bomar, a transfer from CCU – had 10.
Bomar, Harlow, Hune and Zikaya Wright shared team honors in rebounding with four each.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday when it opens a four-game road trip in Owensboro, Ky. at Brescia University.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.