RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The eight previous meetings between the University of Rio Grande and Brescia University had been decided by just 31 points combined.
The Bearcats had won six of those meetings.
Both trends were emphatically erased in meeting number nine between the host RedStorm and the Bearcats on Thursday night.
Rio Grande used a 17-0 run out the first media timeout of the night to snap a 13-all deadlock and fuel an 80-53 victory in River States Conference men’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande improved to 9-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play with a third straight win.
Brescia dropped to 5-11 overall and 3-5 in league play.
Rio Grande hit a season-high 12 three-point goals for the second straight outing, including three during the game-changing first half spurt.
Sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands), who finished with a game-high 19 points, hit one of his five trifectas in the contest during the run. He has 18 triples and is averaging just under 23 points per game over the course of the team’s modest win streak.
Rio’s lead reached 20 points later in the first half and grew to as many as 33 points inside the final two minutes of the contest.
Sophomore Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH) added 15 points and a game-high four assists to the winning effort, while freshman Cody Lantz (Shelby, OH) had 11 points and sophomore Taylor Mack (Akron, OH) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The RedStorm finished with a commanding 42-27 edge in rebounding and committed just nine turnovers.
Brescia, which played a fourth straight game without its second leading scorer and top rebounder, Ricky Shuford (14.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg), finished 22-for-55 overall (40%), but hit just five of 21 three-point tries (23.8%) — well below its season average of 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Jalen Rose led the Bearcats with 15 points and two steals, while Tay Smith finished with 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Smith, the team’s leading scorer at 16.5 ppg entering the night, scored all of his points in the second half.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it entertains Oakland City University for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
The Mighty Oaks are coached by former Rio Grande head coach Ken French.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.