RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Ella Skeens did what she’s been doing of late.
Hailey Jordan did something she’d never done before.
Their combined efforts led the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team in a successful start to its postseason schedule.
Skeens, the River States Conference Player of the Week for each of the past two weeks, poured in a game-high 30 points and Jordan recorded the first triple-double of her career as the RedStorm routed Indiana University Southeast, 116-65, in the quarterfinal round of the River States Conference Championship, Wednesday night, at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande, the tourney’s overall top seed and the No. 1 seed from the East Division, improved to 29-2 with the victory and advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round where it will host West Virginia University Tech — a winner over Oakland City University in another of Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchups.
IU Southeast, the No. 4 seed from the West Division, finished its injury-riddled campaign at 11-18.
Skeens, a junior from Chillicothe, Ohio, did all of her damage in just 28 minutes of playing time and finished 14-for-19 overall, including 2-for-3 from three-point range. She scored 14 points in the first half and 16 after the intermission.
Jordan, a junior from Columbus, Ohio, finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for the program’s third triple-double of the season — two of which have come against the Grenadiers.
Rio Grande, which was forced to rally from a double-digit first half deficit en route to a 100-96 win over IUS in their regular season meeting six weeks ago, was never in the same danger during Wednesday’s rematch.
The RedStorm trailed just once — 11-9 after a conventional three-point play by the Grenadiers’ Leah Miller with 4:31 left in the opening quarter — and continued to extend their advantage throughout the contest.
Rio Grande shot 60.7 percent overall (51-for-84) and scored 30 points or more in each of the final three quarters, while leading by as many as 52 points with just over a minute remaining.
The RedStorm also tallied a staggering 39 assists against just seven turnovers and finished with a 55-28 edge in rebounding.
All but three of the 14 Rio players in uniform scored and, in addition to Skeens and Jordan, three reached double figures.
Freshman Aleaa Crites (Parkersburg, WV) finished with 18 points, in addition to nine rebounds, while freshman Kaeli Ross (Flatwoods, KY) equaled a career-high with 14 points and freshman Kaylee Darnell (Wheelersburg, OH) added 11 points.
Freshman Harlei Antritt (Newark, OH) had 10 rebounds of her own in the win, while senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) and freshman Azyiah Williams (Ripley, OH) handed out seven assists apiece.
IU Southeast shot just 37.9 percent overall (25-for-66), 25.9 percent from three-point range (7-for-27) and 42.1 percent from the free throw line (8-for-19).
Emmy Ralph led the Grenadiers with 27 points, while Lauren Lambdin totaled 13 points and Miller tossed in 11 to go along with two blocked shots.
Alex Maher added 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds in a losing cause.
Saturday’s semifinal contest between Rio and WVU-Tech is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tipoff. The RedStorm will be looking to avenge their only conference loss of the season.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.