RIO GRANDE, Ohio — For the second time in as many days, the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team avenged one of its earlier losses and edged closer to what’s been an elusive .500 mark for the season.
The RedStorm spotted Alice Lloyd College an early six-point lead before opening up an 11-point halftime cushion of their own and rolling to a 108-90 win over the Eagles, Wednesday afternoon, in non-conference play at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande, which dropped a 98-94 decision at Alice Lloyd on Dec. 11, improved to 5-6 with the victory.
The Eagles, who were playing for the first time since their home win over the RedStorm, dropped to 2-1 as a result of the loss.
Alice Lloyd enjoyed a pair of six-point leads inside the game’s first 4-1/2 minutes, but Rio rallied to take a 29-27 advantage by the close of a fast-paced, back-and-forth opening period.
The RedStorm extended their lead to 54-43 at halftime, but lowered the boom on their guests and turned the game lopsided in the third stanza.
The Eagles went 3-for-18 from the floor in the period, while Rio seemingly scored at will and methodically opened up a 27-point lead, 85-58, following a three-point goal by sophomore Regan Willingham (Ashville, OH) with 1:06 left in the quarter.
Alice Lloyd did slice the deficit to 15 points with just under two minutes to play, but got no closer.
Rio Grande shot 49.4 percent for the game (38-for-77) and finished with 29 assists.
The RedStorm also went 24-for-33 at the free throw line and out rebounded the Eagles, 53-39.
Junior Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) led five double-digit scorers for Rio with a game- and season-high 23 points. She connected on four of the RedStorm’s eight three-point goals.
Between Wednesday’s performance against Alice Lloyd and Tuesday’s victory over Mount Vernon Nazarene, Harper went 12-for-16 from the floor and connected on seven three-pointers, scoring 38 points in 34 minutes of playing time.
Sophomore Lexi Woods (Waverly, OH) added 18 points in the win, while senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) and sophomore Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) netted 16 points each and freshman Aleea Crites (Parkersburg, WV) had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Junior Amaya Yancey (Washington, D.C.) handed out a game- and career-high nine assists, while Chambers added six assists and four steals and Jordan blocked a pair of shots.
Alice Lloyd also had five players finish in double figures.
Haley Hall and Ali May tossed in 16 points apiece, while Hannah Kash and Alex Clifton netted 13 points each. Shelby Davis added 12 points in a losing cause.
Kash also had a team-best four assists and four steals for the Eagles, while Emma Maggard had six rebounds. Madison Thompson and Bailee Brainard blocked three shots apiece.
Alice Lloyd finished 27-for-70 overall (38.6%) and 9-for-24 from the three-point range (37.5%), while connecting on 27 of its 34 free throw attempts (79.4%).
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Monday, Jan. 4, when the University of Cincinnati-Clermont visits for a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.