RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Bob Barker was nowhere to be found inside the Newt Oliver Arena on Monday night, but for Indiana University Southeast there was no denying that the Price was right.
Ahmad Price scored 20 of his career-high 29 points in the second half and the Grenadiers withstood a dramatic last-second finish to post a 70-69 win over the University of Rio Grande in River States Conference men’s basketball action.
IU Southeast, which improved to 7-2 all-time against the RedStorm, upped its season record to 8-14 overall and evened its conference mark at 5-5 with the win.
Rio Grande suffered a second straight loss, falling to 11-10 overall and 5-4 in the RSC.
However, for much of the night, the RedStorm appeared as if they might survive the absence of their second-leading scorer, sophomore forward Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH), who was injured late in Saturday’s loss at Alice Lloyd College.
Head coach Ryan Arrowood’s squad thrice trailed by five points early and midway through the opening half before grabbing a five-point lead of its own, 41-36, at the intermission.
Rio maintained the advantage until Price capped an 8-0 run by the Grenadiers which produced a 49-46 lead for IUS with 12:52 remaining in the contest. Price had all but two of his team’s points in the scoring spurt.
The RedStorm tied the game on their ensuing possession thanks to a three-pointer by sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands) — himself playing with a shoulder injury which also occurred Saturday at Alice Lloyd — and regained the lead, 51-49, as a result of an offensive rebound and stick back by freshman Exauce Manissa (Point Noire, The Congo) with 11:28 left.
The next seven minutes produced one of the game’s nine ties and two of its nine lead changes, but a 5-0 Rio run — capped by a bucket from freshman Caleb Wallis (Jackson, OH) — gave the RedStorm their largest lead of the night, 69-63, with 3:23 still to play.
Unfortunately, Wallis’ basket produced Rio’s final points of the night.
IU Southeast scored the game’s final seven points, the final two of which were free throws by Glenn Hill, Jr. with 21.3 seconds remaining, to grab a 70-69 lead.
The RedStorm’s last gasp to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat came up empty when a fadeaway jumper in the lane by Tadic with four seconds left and a tip-in try by Manissa with one second showing on the clock were both off the mark.
Price, who was playing in just his fifth game after joining the Grenadiers at the semester break, finished 10-for-18 overall, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 6-for-6 at the foul line.
Hill provided plenty of help in the winning effort as well, totaling 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots.
Anthony Wales, Jr. added 12 points and five steals for IUS, while Jared Osborne netted 11 points.
The Grenadiers were outrebounded, 37-28, but went 17-for-18 at free throw line while their hosts were just 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.
IUS also enjoyed an 18-7 edge in points off of turnovers thanks to 14 Rio miscues. The RedStorm averaged just over nine turnovers per game entering the contest.
Tadic had a team-high 23 points to go along with six assists, while Wallis had 15 points, a game-high seven assists and six rebounds.
Freshman Eythan House (Montrose, Australia) added a career-high 13 points in a losing cause, while fellow frosh Khamani Smith (Fort Wayne, IN) had 10 points and sophomore Taylor Mack (Akron, OH) had a team-best seven rebounds.
Rio Grande finished 27-for-61 overall (44.3%) and hit a season-best 13 three-point goals on 33 attempts (39.4%).
The RedStorm return to action on Thursday night at RSC newcomer St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.