BECKLEY, W.Va. — After a lopsided season-opening loss at 15th-ranked Mount Vernon Nazarene on Tuesday and a tough loss to USCAA Division II power Berkeley College on Friday, the University of Rio Grande finally got its first “W” of the new season.
And a convincing one at that.
The RedStorm closed out the first half on a 14-3 run for a 25-point lead at the intermission and an eventual 93-64 triumph over Penn State University-Fayette, Saturday afternoon, in the final round of the WVU-Tech Classic at the Raleigh County Armory and Convention Center.
While Rio got its first win in three tries, the Nittany Lions slipped to 0-2 with the loss.
The RedStorm led from start to finish and enjoyed a 40-26 cushion after a bucket by PSU-Fayette’s Dominic Boring with 3:54 remaining in the first half, but blew things open with its late burst before the break.
The Nittany Lions got no closer than 15 points on two occasions in the second half, while Rio’s biggest lead of 31 points came when a pair of free throws by junior guard Hadith Tiggs (Mayfield Heights, OH) made it 93-62 with 40 seconds left in the contest.
Rio Grande shot just under 52 percent from the floor in the first half and 47.5% for the game (28-for-59), while also enjoying a decided 49-34 edge in rebounding.
The RedStorm also had 14 turnovers – half of the total they accumulated in Friday night’s loss.
Freshman Gunner Short (Catlettsburg, KY) had a game-high 15 points to lead a trio of double-figure scorers for Rio. Tiggs and sophomore guard Raul Timoner (Alaior, Spain) finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Timoner’s point total represented a new career-high.
The RedStorm also got six rebounds each from Timoner, senior Earl Russell (Warrington, England) and sophomore Ajdin Maksumich (Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovinia).
Salim Wyche and Marvin Sidon scored 11 points each for PSU-Fayette, while Boring and Iman Young netted 10 points apiece.
Wyche also had four steals and three assists in the loss, while Young yanked down a game-best seven rebounds.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday night when it travels to Indianapolis, Indiana to face No. 8-ranked Marian University.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.