RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande jumped to an early 12-point lead and never looked back, outscoring the University of Cincinnati-Clermont in all four quarters of an eventual 97-53 victory, Wednesday night, in non-conference women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm improved to 2-5 with the win, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process.
UC-Clermont, which was making its season debut, declared the contest as an exhibition.
All 13 players in uniform for Rio Grande saw action and all but one scored at least one point.
Freshman Aleea Crites (Parkersburg, WV) led a quartet of double-digit scorers in the winning effort with 16 points. She also finished with a game-high eight rebounds.
Sophomore Reagan Willingham (Ashville, OH) added 15 points of her own, while tying a career-high with a game-best six assists and swiping a career-best and game-high five steals.
Freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) and sophomore Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) tallied 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the RedStorm.
Willingham connected on one of her four three-point goals to give Rio a 22-10 lead with 4:29 left in the opening stanza and the cushion extended to 16 points, 50-34, by the intermission.
The RedStorm turned things ugly in the second half, outscoring the Cougars, 47-19, after the break.
The 44-point final margin of victory represented Rio’s largest lead of the night.
The RedStorm shot 54.8 percent from the field in the second half (17-for-31) and finished the night at 50.7% (35-for-69).
Rio Grande also enjoyed a commanding 54-31 edge in rebounding and had a season-high 21 steals, helping to offset 27 turnovers of its own.
UC-Clermont shot just 25 percent (7-for-28) after halftime and 30.3% for the game (20-for-66), while going just 8-for-19 at the free throw line and committing 29 turnovers.
Victoria Brooks had 14 points and three assists to pace the Cougars, while Kristi Duncan had 13 points, a team-best six rebounds and three steals.
Ashley Moore added 10 points and three steals in a losing cause.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night when it opens a two-game weekend road swing to Indiana at Goshen College.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.