RedStorm women cruise in season opener

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande scored the first 13 points of the game in Saturday afternoon’s season opener against Ohio University-Lancaster.

The quick start proved to be a sign of things to come.

The RedStorm finished with their highest single-game scoring total in almost four calendar years, while also establishing a new school record for margin of victory in a 114-34 dismantling of the Cougars in non-conference play at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The 114 points were the most scored by a Rio team since a 113-86 win over Midway University on January 31, 2015.

The 80-point margin of victory established a new school record and was the largest of its kind since a 60-point win (127-67) over Miami University-Middletown on Nov. 9, 2013.

Rio’s 13-0 start produced a 30-17 lead at the end of the opening and a 14-0 spurt to begin the second period helped create a 56-26 advantage by halftime.

Things only got worse for the Cougars (0-1), who had just six of the eight players on their roster in uniform.

The RedStorm scored 27 of the first 28 points in the third quarter before OU-L’s Arjanna Knul connected on a buzzer-beating jumper from the right wing.

The final stanza began with a 13-2 Rio run and ended with the RedStorm scoring 31 of the 36 points in the period.

Head coach David Smalley substituted liberally throughout the contest – no one played more than 19:40 – and all 11 players in uniform for Rio scored at least three points.

The RedStorm shot 58 percent for the game (50-for-86), while also benefitting from a 57-17 rebounding advantage and 29 cougar turnovers.

“We didn’t try to run up the score – that’s not me,” Smalley said. “But I’ll never tell my players to not go hard. We just played very well against a short-handed team – six of the gutsiest women’s college basketball players we’ve ever competed against. They have grit and character I think everybody should take notice of that.”

Senior guard Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) and senior forward Jasmine Smith (Canal Winchester, OH) led a quarter of double-digit scorers for Rio Grande with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Carter also had eight steals and four assists, while Smith snared eight rebounds.

Freshman Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) had 14 points in her varsity debut for the RedStorm, while sophomore guard Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) had 13 points and junior guard Sydney Holden (Wheelersburg, OH) handed out six assists.

Amber Lee had 15 points to pace OU-Lancaster, while Knul had 12 points and a team-high four assists.

Maria Camacho added seven rebounds for the Cougars, who shot just 24.4 percent (11-for-45) for the game.

Rio Grande returns to action on Monday night, hosting Miami University-Hamilton for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

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

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