DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Host Embry-Riddle built a 16-point first half lead and never looked back, cruising to a 74-46 win over the University of Rio Grande, Friday night, in men’s basketball action at the ICI Center.
The Eagles, who are ranked No. 4 in NAIA Division II, won for the 11th time in 12 outings.
Rio Grande, which was hoping to build on the momentum of Wednesday night’s exhibition win against NCAA Division I Campbell University, dropped to 4-8 with the loss.
The start of the game was delayed by 40 minutes because the officiating crew found itself stuck in traffic as a result of an accident. The contest started with two officials, while the final member of the three-man crew arrived to work the second half.
Once the game finally did get under way, it appeared as if Rio Grande’s offense was also stuck in traffic.
The RedStorm shot just 12.5 percent in the opening half (3-for-24) and failed to reach double figures until only 8:28 remained before halftime.
By that time, ERU had delighted a partisan crowd of 924 fans by building a 14-point advantage.
The Eagles’ lead reached 16 late in the half before settling at 15 points, 32-17 at the intermission.
Rio Grande watched the deficit quickly grow to 22 points on a trio of buckets by DeForest Carter inside the first 2-1/2 minutes of the second stanza and the RedStorm got no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.
Embry-Riddle’s biggest lead of the night was 31 points after a Daniel Mondragon three-pointer made it 69-38 with 4:01 left to play.
Rio Grande hit just 15 of its 53 shots for the game (28.3 percent), was outrebounded 42-34 and committed 17 turnovers which led to 26 points for the Eagles.
Carter netted a game-high 19 points for Embry-Riddle, including his team’s first 13 points of the second half. He also had a game-high seven assists to go along with a game-high four steals and a team-best two blocked shots.
Cesar Pastrana added 13 points for the Eagles, who shot 56.7 percent from the field in the second half (17-for-30), while Rico Saldana had 12 points and a team-best nine rebounds and Billy Serle finished with 11.
Junior forward Karl Moore had 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to pace Rio, while junior guard Jermaine Warmack also had 10 points.