RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Not every win is a thing of beauty, but the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team wasn’t about to give back Saturday’s victory over Carlow University for a lack of style points.
The RedStorm shook off a slow start and pulled away down the stretch for 72-53 triumph over the Celtics in River States Conference action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande improved to 10-1 overall and 2-0 in league play with its eighth straight win.
Carlow slipped to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the RSC with the loss.
The RedStorm led just 21-20 after a three-pointer by the Celtics’ Chanel Sparks with 6:14 left in the opening half, but scored 13 of the final 17 points in the stanza to open up a 10-point halftime advantage.
Rio Grande shot just 32.5 percent in the first half (13-for-40), while the Celtics were even colder by hitting just 10 of their 34 tries for 29.5 percent.
Carlow also hurt its own cause with 12 turnovers before halftime.
The Celtics remained within striking distance early in the second half and trailed by just six points, 39-33, after the second of consecutive buckets by Theresa Fachetti with 6:25 left in the third quarter, but Rio closed the period on a 16-6 run and was never threatened again.
The RedStorm’s biggest lead of the day was 25 points, 69-44, following a conventional three-point play by freshman Makayla Liedtke (Beverly, OH) with 2:22 left to play.
Junior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) and sophomore Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) had 15 points each to pace Rio in the win, while senior Alexis Payne (Deep Water, WV) had 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Sophomore Abby Wendel (Portland, IN) added a team-high four steals among the 17 that the RedStorm accrued as a team.
Sparks and Alexis Yanief had 11 points each in a losing cause for Carlow, which finished with 26 turnovers.
Emma Stille had seven rebounds in the loss for the Celtics.
Rio Grande will return to action next Saturday when it hosts Wilberforce University as part of the Newt Oliver Coaches Classic.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.