RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Bilal Young scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the University of Rio Grande in a 95-77 win over the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, Friday night, in the men’s division of the Bevo Francis Invitational Tournament at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm improved to 3-0 with the victory and advanced to Saturday’s 5 p.m. title game against Cincinnati Christian University. The Eagles rolled to a 111-73 win over Ohio University-Chillicothe in Friday’s first men’s semifinal.
Young, a freshman forward from Cleveland, Ohio, scored nine points in the opening half and added 11 more after the break. Seven of his 12 points also came following the intermission.
Rio Grande also got a career-high 16 points from junior center Sterling Smoak (San Antonio, TX) to go along with 14 points from junior guard Evan Legg (Piketon, OH) and a career-high 13 points from senior guard Ricky Tisdale (Bolivar, TN).
Young also had four assists to share game-high honors with senior teammate Jermaine Warmack (Orange, NJ).
UC-Clermont (1-2) raced to a 6-1 lead inside the game’s first 90 seconds, but the RedStorm responded with an 11-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Rio pushed its first half cushion to as many 21 points, 35-14, following a three-pointer by Legg with 6:13 left before the intermission, before settling for a 15-point lead, 48-33, at the break.
The Cougars got no closer the rest of the way.
Rio’s biggest lead of the night was 35 points and came with 8:22 left in the contest when a bucket by Young made it 80-45.
The RedStorm shot 52.2 percent for the game (35-for-67) and outrebounded their guests, 54-35.
UC-Clermont hit 29 of its 71 shots overall (40.8%) and finished 10-for-27 from three-point range (37.0%).
Kendall Beamon and J’Ron Anderson had 16 points apiece to lead the Cougars in a losing cause, while Talmadge Bell and Devin Willis added 11 points each. Nick Jackson yanked down a team-high six rebounds.