MIDWAY, Ky. — A late surge by the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team has now set the stage for what could be an historic night in the program’s history.
The RedStorm got 20 points and 12 rebounds from Brooke Marcum and pulled away down the stretch to post a 75-62 victory over Midway University on Friday night in River States Conference action at Marshall Gyymnasium.
Rio Grande snapped a two-game losing slide, pushing its season record to 13-8 overall and 5-4 inside the conference.
Midway, which led the RSC West Division entering the contest, had a five-game win streak snapped in falling to 15-6 overall and 6-3 in league play.
The win was the 499th of Smalley’s coaching career, all 25 of which have been spent at Rio Grande.
Marcum, a senior from Vinton, scored 16 of her points — going 7-for-7 from the floor — and grabbed nine of her rebounds in the second half, moving to within three rebounds of 1,000 for her career.
She would become just the third player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point and 1,000-rebound mark for her career.
Smalley and Marcum did have the opportunity to reach their respective milestone marks at home on Tuesday night (Jan. 24) — when the RedStorm hosted Asbury University in a 6 p.m. tipoff at the Newt Oliver Arena.
In Friday night’s victory, Rio was forced to overcome a season-high 27 turnovers and did so by shooting just under 55 percent for the game (29-for-53) — including 59.3 percent (16-for-27) in the second half — and outrebounding its host, 44-22.
Midway led 18-16 after one quarter, but the RedStorm forged a three-point lead at the intermission and twice led by seven points in the third period before settling for a 58-54 advantage entering the final stanza.
The Eagles still faced a four-point deficit, 60-56, after a short jumper by Rachel Carter with 9:20 left in the contest, but Rio followed with a 13-1 run over the next six minutes to take their largest lead of the game and put the win on ice.
Along with the big night from Marcum, the RedStorm also got 17 points from sophomore Jaida Carter and 10 from sophomore Jasmine Smith.
Midway received a game-high 26 points from Breanna Ball and seven rebounds from Patrice Tonge.
The Eagles shot just 33-percent overall in the second half (9-for-27) and were just 4-for-19 from three-point range for the game.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for The University of Rio Grande.