PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The University of Rio Grande raced to a 16-point halftime lead and never looked back, cruising to a 77-53 rout of Carlow University, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference men’s basketball action at Oakland Catholic High School’s Donahue Pavilion.
The RedStorm, who snapped a four-game losing slide, improved to 12-18 overall and 5-10 in conference play with the win.
Head coach Ken French’s squad also kept its albeit slim post-season hopes alive with the victory.
Rio needs win in its regular season finale against WVU-Tech next Saturday, in addition to losses by Ohio Christian in its final two games against Carlow on Tuesday night and at Point Park next Saturday.
Carlow, which trailed the RedStorm from start to finish on Saturday, dropped to 1-25 overall and 0-13 in the RSC with the loss.
Rio Grande, which dressed just nine players for the contest as a result of multiple injuries, grabbed a double-digit lead just over seven minutes into the game and led by as many as 19 points on three occasions in the first half before settling on a 16-point, 41-25, cushion at the intermission.
Carlow scored the first points of the second half on a layup by Tre’ Harvey with 19:44 remaining to close the gap to 14 points, but got no closer the rest of the way.
The RedStorm answered Harvey’s bucket with a 14-2 run to take a 26-point lead and led by no less than 24 points from that point on.
Rio’s largest lead was 34 points, 77-34, after an offensive rebound and put back by freshman Taylor Mack (Akron, OH) with 4:29 left to play.
Mack was one of four players in double figures for the RedStorm, finishing with a career-high 12 points. He also had a game- and career-best 15 rebounds in the victory.
Fellow frosh Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH) led Rio with 13 points, while also adding nine rebounds of his own and a career-high five assists.
Juniors Trey Kelley (Minford, OH) and Dwaine Simmons (Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos) contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, to the winning effort.
The RedStorm shot 45.7 percent overall, but went just 4-for-18 from three-point range (22.2%) and 9-of-19 at the free throw line (47.4%).
Carlow hit just 30 percent of its shots overall (20-for-66), while going 10-for-19 at the foul line (52.6%). The Celtics were also out rebounded, 59-35.
Swede Redman was the only Carlow player in double figures, finishing with 10 points. He also had six rebounds and three assists.
Jenkins Kimber chipped in nine points and a team-high seven rebounds in a losing cause for the Celtics, while Eugene Goodwine equaled Redman with three assists.
Rio’s regular season finale against WVU-Tech on Saturday is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tipoff at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Seniors Hadith Tiggs (Mayfield Heights, OH) and Greg Wallace (Montego Bay, Jamaica) will be honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.