CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The University of Rio Grande shook off a slow start, hammering West Virginia University-Tech over the middle two quarters and cruising to a 78-61 win over the Golden Bears in River States Conference women’s basketball action, Saturday afternoon, at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex.
The RedStorm improved to 19-1 overall and 7-0 in the RSC with a program-record 17th consecutive victory.
The 19 wins also allowed head coach David Smalley’s squad to equal its win total for each of the last two seasons.
WVU Tech dropped to 9-10 overall and 4-3 in league play with the loss.
The game was tied at 14-all after the opening stanza, but Rio Grande outscored its host, 41-22, over the next two periods to take control.
WVU Tech hit just eight of its 32 field goal attempts (25.0 percent) over the middle two quarters and finished just 19-for-63 (30.2 percent) from the field for the game.
The Golden Bears scored half of their 32 second half points from the free throw line.
Rio Grande had four players reach double figure scoring totals in the win. Junior guard Chelsy Slone (Gallipolis, OH), who was coming off a career-high 19 points in a win at Wilberforce on Tuesday night, led the quartet with 15 points.
Senior Alexis Payne (Deep Water, WV), junior Jasmine Smith (Canal Winchester, OH) and freshman Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) had 11 points each in the winning effort, while sophomore Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Payne also had eight rebounds and three blocked shots, while Holden added three assists, two blocked shots and a pair of steals.
The RedStorm shot 43 percent from the floor (26-for-60) and out rebounded the Golden Bears, 50-45, but struggled again at the free throw line by hitting just 20 of their 38 attempts (52.6 percent).
Alexandria Gray had a game-high 17 points off the bench to lead WVU Tech, while Laura Requena added 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Alexandra Combs handed out a game-high four assists in a losing cause for the Golden Bears.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Tuesday night when RSC West Division leader, Alice Lloyd College, visits the Newt Oliver Arena for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.