Holden, Payne fuel Rio rout of Eagles

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Sydney Holden scored a career-high 26 points, while Alexis Payne added 22 of her own to lead the University of Rio Grande in a 95-67 rout of Midway University, Thursday night, in River States Conference women’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Rio Grande, which is ranked No. 21 in the latest NAIA DII coaches’ poll, improved to 20-1 overall and 8-0 in league play with a program-record 18th consecutive win.

Midway slipped to 10-9 overall and 4-5 in the RSC.

The Eagles trailed just 18-14 at the close of the opening quarter, but Rio scored 10 of the first 14 points in the second stanza to build a double-digit advantage.

The RedStorm led by no less than seven points the rest of the way, building a 12-point halftime lead and a 20-point cushion after three quarters.

Rio’s largest lead of the contest came with the final margin of victory.

Holden, a sophomore from Wheelersburg, Ohio, scored 16 of her points in the second half as the RedStorm pulled away. She finished with four of her team’s nine three-point goals, while also tallying a game-high seven rebounds and three steals.

Payne, a senior from Deep Water, W.Va., did the bulk of her damage in the opening half with 15 points – including 10 in the second quarter. She finished 8-for-11 from the field overall with a pair of three-pointers and two blocked shots.

Rio Grande finished 36-for-67 from the floor overall (53.7 percent) and all 12 players in uniform scored at least two points.

Midway, which remained winless in five all-time meetings with the RedStorm, shot just 38 percent from the floor (21-for-55), was out rebounded 36-33 and committed 22 turnovers.

Courtney Pfister led the Eagles with 19 points, while Haleigh Yazell tossed in 10 points and had three steals.

Patrice Tonge added three steals of her own in a losing cause, while also pulling down a team-best seven rebounds.

Rio Grande returns to action on Sunday when RSC West Division leader Alice Lloyd College visits for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

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.