RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Brianna Thomas and Sarah Bonar each recorded double-doubles, while Kaylyn Gambill connected for six three-pointers, as the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene 96-76, Tuesday evening, in Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande entered the contest as the top-scoring team in all of NAIA Division I, as well as shooting the highest field-goal percentage in the country.
The RedStorm, who fell just short of their bid for three-straight games over 100 points, led wire-to-wire once again and improved to 3-0 on the young season, led by the all-around play of Thomas, a junior guard from Maplewood, New Jersey.
Thomas finished the game with the first double-double (and near triple-double) of her Rio Grande career with 15 points, 10 assists, and seven steals.
Performing right along with her was Bonar, a sophomore forward from Hartford, Ohio, with 26 points and 13 rebounds to her credit.
Gambill, a freshman guard hailing from Ashland, Kentucky, would crack the 20-point barrier for the second game in a row by finishing with 20 points and hitting on 60% of her three-point attempts (6/10).
Rio Grande jumped out to a 19-7 advantage with just under 14 minutes to play in the first half thanks to a quick 8-0 run.
They would not look back in the first half and generally keep that same distance, as the halftime score stood at 50-39.
The second half was more of the same, as the RedStorm would enjoy its largest lead at 94-69 with three minutes left before surrendering seven of the final nine points to finish the game at 96-76.
Rio Grande finished the game netting nearly 51% of their shots from the field, including 35% from three-point range and 67% from the foul line.
The RedStorm simply owned the glass by outrebounding the Cougars 52-33.
Besides the aforementioned player, Rio Grande also got great production from freshman Brooke Marcum (Vinton, OH) with 10 points and seven rebounds and freshman Alexis Payne (Deep Water, WV) with nine points and five rebounds off the bench.
Mount Vernon Nazarene (1-3) was led on the night by Megan Beidelman’s 17 points off the bench and Erica Cramer’s 16-point performance. Courtney Christie (11), Amy Daniels (11) and Ainsleigh Krause (10) also reached double-figures in the loss.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday evening when they host Ohio University-Lancaster in first-round action of the Bevo Francis Invitational at Newt Oliver Arena.
Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Live video and play-by-play will be available at www.ihigh.com/redstorm, with pregrame beginning at 5:45 p.m.