Rio women net 5 All-RSC selections

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande placed two players each on the All-River States Conference Women’s Basketball first- and second-teams, while head coach David Smalley earned RSC Coach of the Year honors.

The league released its All-Conference teams and award winners on Monday evening. The teams and the individual award winners were selected through voting of the league’s head coaches.

Sophomore Lexi Woods (Waverly, OH) and senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) represented the RedStorm on the first team, while freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) and junior Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) were second team selections.

Woods and Jordan lead the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game and both are in the Top 25 nationally in field goal percentage. Woods is 21st nationally at 54.7%, while Jordan is 25th at 54.1 percent.

Chambers averages 11.8 points per contest and ranks second nationally in total assists with 151. She’s also fourth nationally in assists per game (6.0) and is 17th nationally with 64 steals.

Brisker is scoring at an 11.2 ppg clip, which ranks fifth in the RSC among freshmen.

Smalley, now in his 29th season, has guided the RedStorm into the RSC finals on Tuesday night against WVU Tech. Rio Grande is 18-7 and has won 10 straight games and 17 of its last 19 outings after a 1-5 start.

Rio’s 18 victories represent a conference high for victories this season.

Headlining the other individual awards, WVU Tech senior guard Brittney Justice was named the league’s Player of the Year.

Justice, from Danese, W.Va., has led the Golden Bears into Tuesday’s RSC Championship finals with team highs of 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to go along with 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

Oakland City (Ind.) University freshman guard Emilee Hope was voted as Newcomer of the Year. She averaged a team-high 15.2 points per game and was the top vote-getter among the first-year players in the conference.

Brittney Justice earned her top honor with another strong season to add to her career. She is now WVU Tech’s all-time leading scorer with over 1,600 career points. She was joined on the first team by her sister Whittney Justice at 12.6 ppg.

Ohio Christian University sophomore forward Rachel Gillum had a monster season to finish highly on the All-RSC First Team. She is second in the conference at 20.6 ppg and is the NAIA national rebounding leader at 17.1 rpg.

Asbury (Ky.) University senior guard/forward Autumn Herriford also ranked highly on the first team with team highs of 14.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College senior guard Haley Hall put up 18.1 ppg for her First-Team spot.

Jill Enix (13.8 ppg) represented Midway (Ky.) University on the First Team while RSC scoring leader Michelle Burns (20.8 ppg) did the same for Point Park (Pa.) University.

The All-RSC Second Team had two players each from Midway, Rio Grande and Ohio Christian with those 10 players representing a total of seven different schools.

Along with Brisker and Jordan, the Second Team included Midway’s Allyson Callahan and Kindall Talley, Ohio Christian’s Rachel Bolyard and Helaina Limas, Lauren Lambdin of IU Southeast, Point Park’s Taylor Rinn, Kelsey Johnson of Asbury and Brescia’s Cassidy Moss.

Also named was the RSC Women’s Basketball Champions of Character Team, which recognizes one member of each team who best exhibits the NAIA five character values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

Rio Grande was represented on the list by junior Avery Harper (Seaman, OH).

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing