FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Indiana Tech used a 24-4 run that bridged the final 4:45 of the first half and the first 4:23 of the second half to break a 19-all tie and eventually post a 64-47 win over the University of Rio Grande in non-conference men’s basketball action, Monday afternoon, at the Schaefer Center.
The host Warriors won for the 12th time in 17 outings.
The RedStorm slipped below the .500 mark for the season, falling to 6-7 overall.
Rio Grande led just once all day, 5-4, following a three-pointer by sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands) with 15:21 left in the first half, but found itself locked in a 19-19 tie after a bucket by sophomore Taylor Mack (Akron, OH) with 5:18 remaining before the intermission.
At that point, though, the wheels fell off of the RedStorm wagon.
Tech closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 10-point advantage at the break and then added another 12-2 spurt to begin the second stanza, taking 43-23 cushion after a layup by Grant Smith with 15:37 left to play.
It was the Warriors’ largest lead of the day.
At the same time, though, Rio Grande refused to go away quietly and pulled as close as seven points, 50-43, following a dunk by freshman Exauce Manissa (Point Noire, The Congo) with 5:45 remaining.
Unfortunately, that’s as close as the RedStorm got the rest of the way.
On the same play, a double technical foul was whistled against Rio freshman Cody Lantz (Shelby, OH) and Indiana Tech’s Rog Stein — a Rio Grande transfer who actually never appeared in a game for the RedStorm.
Rio missed on both of its subsequent free throw tries, while Tech connected on both of their chances to kickstart a 14-2 run to put the win on ice.
Tadic added a jumper with 24 seconds left to set the final score.
Rio Grande shot 40 percent overall (22-for-55), but struggled again both from beyond the three-point arc and at the foul line.
The RedStorm hit just three of 20 attempts from distance and were 0-for-5 at the charity stripe.
Tech didn’t shoot particularly well from three-point range (4-for-15) or the foul line (10-for-16) either, but connected on 47.2 percent of its shots overall (25-for-53) and outrebounded Rio, 35-29.
The RedStorm also had 15 turnovers, leading to a 20-6 edge for the Warriors in points off of turnovers.
Smith and Josh Kline led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Indiana Tech with 15 points each, while Lucas Lehrman had 12 points and Cory McKinney finished with 10.
Smith also had a game-high nine rebounds.
Tadic led Rio Grande with 14 points, while sophomore Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH) tossed in 12. Both had three rebounds each to tie Manissa for team-high honors.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Thursday when it hosts Lourdes University in a matinee affair at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Tipoff is scheduled to 2 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.