RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Sarah Bonar scored a game-high 27 points and had a team-high eight rebounds to lead the University of Rio Grande in a season-opening 78-61 win over Wilberforce University, Tuesday night, in non-conference women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Bonar, a senior from Hartford, Ohio, connected on 11 of her 15 field goal attempts and was 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the victory. She also finished with three assists and two blocked shots.
Bonar scored 10 of her points in the opening quarter and 17 in the first half, helping the RedStorm lead by as many as 26 points just before the intermission.
The advantage grew to as many as 29 points on two occasions late in the third period. While the Bulldogs (0-3) rallied in the final stanza, they got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Freshman Ariel Skipper (Columbus, OH) scored 12 points in her collegiate debut and was Rio Grande’s only other double-figure scorer.
The RedStorm survived a 42-35 rebounding deficit and 25 turnovers by shooting 51.7 percent from the floor (31-for-60) and blocking eight shots.
Rio Grande also was forced to overcome the loss of junior forward Audra Clark (St. Marys, WV), who went down with an apparent knee injury just 2:23 into the contest. The RedStorm have already lost the services of junior forward Alexis Payne (Deep Water, WV) and freshman guard Kaylynn Bell (Hillsboro, OH) for the season as a result of knee injuries, while junior forward Brooke Marcum (Vinton, OH) won’t return from a broken foot until later in the month.
Wilberforce, which dropped to 7-30 in the all-time series with Rio, shot just 33 percent (23-for-69) from the field and hurt its own cause with 28 turnovers.
Brooklynn Peterson led a trio of double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs with 19 points, while Kendra Moss had 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Jasmine Johnson netted 11 points in a losing cause.
Rio Grande will return to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels to former Mid-South Conference rival St. Catharine College for a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.