RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Gunner Short scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, including a go-ahead bucket with 1:32 left to play, lifting the University of Rio Grande past Point Park University, 78-73, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference men’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm improved to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in league play with the victory in a game which featured five ties and eight lead changes.
Point Park slipped to 5-6 overall and 2-2 inside the RSC with the loss.
Short, a freshman from Catlettsburg, Ky., connected on a runner in the lane with 1:32 remaining to snap a 68-all tie and then added a conventional three-point play with 51.3 seconds left to give Rio a 73-68 advantage.
The RedStorm’s lead twice reached seven points inside the game’s final half-minute, but the Pioneers managed to get no closer than four points in the waning seconds of the contest.
Rio Grande scored the game’s first six points before Point Park responded with a 13-1 run over the next six minutes to take a six-point lead of its own.
The RedStorm rebounded, though, and closed the first half on an 18-8 run for a 39-30 lead at the intermission.
The advantage reached double digits when a basket by senior Earl Russell (Warrington, England) made it 59-49 with 10:20 left in the game, but the Pioneers roared back with a 15-4 run – culminated by a conventional three-point play by Kyle Carrington with 4:38 remaining – to take a 64-63 lead.
Rio regained the lead with the game’s next five points, but a lay-in by Carrington tied the contest again at 68 with 2:00 left and set up the dramatic finish.
In addition to Short’s offensive effort, the RedStorm also got 12 points from sophomore Trey Kelley (Minford, OH) and 10 points each from juniors Cameron Schreiter (Mason, OH) and Hadith Tiggs (Mayfield Heights, OH).
Freshman Joshua Anthony (Newnan, GA) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds in the winning effort and tied Tiggs for team-high honors with three assists.
Mark Shehady led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Point Park with 16 points, while Daniel King netted 14, Asim Pleas had 12 and Carrington tallied 12.
Justice Cuthbertson, the Pioneers’ leading scorer entering the game at 15.2 points per contest, was limited to just seven points in nearly 33 minutes of playing time and was eventually disqualified from the game after receiving a second technical foul while shooting free throws with six seconds left.
Rio Grande committed 21 turnovers, but survived by shooting 52 percent (13-for-25) in the second half and outrebounding PPU, 45-36.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.