Lions hand Rio women 1st loss

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — It might take four quarters to comprise a regulation women’s college basketball game, but it essentially took just one stanza to decide the outcome of Friday night’s get together between the University of Rio Grande and Bryan (Tenn.) College.

The Lions torched the RedStorm to the tune of a 30-11 second quarter advantage, turning a first quarter deficit into a 15-point halftime lead and an eventual 97-85 victory in the opening round of the Union Classic hosted by Union College.

Rio Grande slipped to 2-1 with the loss.

The RedStorm led by as many as seven points twice in the first period before settling for a four-point advantage at the close of the quarter.

Rio’s lead stood at six points, 29-23, following a bucket by sophomore Abby Wendel (Portland, IN) with 6:14 remaining in the first half, but Bryan scored 26 of the final 31 points of the quarter and never looked back.

The Lions shot 71.4 percent from the field (20-for-28) for the half, including a 12-for-14 performance (85.7 percent) in the second period.

Bryan pushed its lead to 20 points, 71-51, after a pair of Emmy Allen free throws with 1:50 left in the third quarter and led by no less than 11 points the rest of the way.

The Lions finished 33-for-57 from the field overall (57.9 percent), while going 11-for-21 from three-point range (52.4 percent) and 20-for-24 at the free throw line (83.3 percent).

BC also outrebounded Rio, 37-27.

Karli Combs and Amber Levi had 27 and 21 points, respectively, to pace four double-digit scorers for the Lions. Sarah Cain finished with 12 points in the winning effort, while Deandra Luna had 11 points and a game-high six assists.

Rio Grande shot a respectable 47.3 percent from the floor (35-for-74), but went to the foul line just 12 times – hitting eight – and committed 22 turnovers.

Sophomore Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) scored a career-high 24 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds and a team-high five assists for the RedStorm.

Junior Jasmine Smith (Canal Winchester, OH) finished with 17 points in a losing cause, while Wendel added 16 points and a game-high four steals.

Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday when it faces host Union (Ky.) College at 5 p.m.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.