Rio women reach .500 mark with rout of Cougars

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande outscored the University of Cincinnati-Clermont in three of four quarters and rolled to an 88-62 win over the Cougars, Monday afternoon, in non-conference matinee women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The RedStorm won for a third straight time, evening their overall mark at 6-6.

UC-Clermont was playing in its season opener.

The Cougars jumped to a 4-0 lead to begin the contest, but Rio Grande responded with 17 of the game’s next 22 points and never looked back.

The RedStorm built a 10-point lead by the close of the opening quarter and a 20-point advantage by halftime.

The Cougars did manage to close the gap to 14 points when a three-pointer by Victoria Brooks made it 60-46 with 8:37 remaining in the game, but Rio Grande scored the next seven points to restore a 21-point cushion and led by no less than 16 points the rest of the way.

The RedStorm’s largest lead of the day — 27 points — came with 50 seconds left when a bucket by sophomore Courtney Pifher (New Washington, OH) made it 88-61.

Rio Grande shot just under 52 percent from the floor in the second half (15-for-29) and finished the game 22-for-28 at the free throw line (78.6%). The RedStorm also enjoyed a 47-38 edge in rebounding.

Eleven of the 12 players who saw action in the winning effort scored, with sophomore Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) leading the way by netting a game-high 16 points. Freshman Aleea Crites (Parkersburg, WV) narrowly missed a double-double performance with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while also blocking three shots.

Senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) completed Rio’s trio of double-digit scorers with 12 points. She also had a game-high five assists and a team-best three steals.

UC-Clermont shot just 35.9 percent from the floor overall (23-for-64) and hit just five of its 26 three-point tries (19.2%). The Cougars also committed 27 turnovers.

Brooks and Kristi Duncan finished with 12 points each to pace Clermont in the loss. Brooks also had a game-high four steals and Duncan had a team-high seven rebounds.

Ashley Moore added 11 points for the Cougars.

Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Thursday night in its River States Conference opener against rival West Virginia University-Tech.

Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center in Beckley, W.Va.

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.