Three-point barrage sends Rio past Mavericks

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — During his days as the head coach of the men’s basketball coach at Rio Grande college, Newt Oliver saw plenty of offensive exploits from the legendary Bevo Francis and his teammates.

On Saturday, in the annual event which bears Oliver’s name and honors his promotion of college basketball, the current version of the RedStorm enjoyed its biggest offensive showing of the season.

Five players reached double figures and head coach Ken French’s squad connected on a season-high 16 three-point goals in a 114-52 rout of Ohio State University-Mansfield as part of the 13th Annual Newt Oliver Coaches Classic at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Rio Grande snapped a two-game losing slide with the win, improving to 5-6 on the season.

OSU-Mansfield, which dressed just five players for the contest, dropped to 0-11 with the loss. The Mavericks didn’t become the RedStorm’s opponent until just four days earlier when East-West University abruptly backed out of the event.

The 114-point outburst was Rio’s largest since a 114-78 win over Ohio University-Lancaster on Dec. 20, 2016. The 16 three-pointers were the most in a single game for the RedStorm since connecting on 17 in a 117-114 triumph over Point Park University on Jan. 2, 2016.

Rio Grande bolted to a 20-1 lead out of the gate and shot 60.5 percent from the field (23-for-38) en route to a 59-18 halftime lead.

The Mavericks scored the first bucket of the second half, but got no closer the rest of way as the RedStorm followed with 15 consecutive points to open up a 74-20 advantage after a layup by freshman Joshua Anthony (Newnan, GA) with 16:31 remaining.

The lead was no less than 52 points for the remainder of the game and reached its pinnacle – 67 points – after a jumper by sophomore Adjin Maksumic (Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina) made it 114-47 with 1:30 left in the game.

Maksumic finished with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomores Bobby Anderson (Catlettsburg, KY) and Trey Kelley (Minford, OH) hit five three-pointers each and finished with 15 points. Anderson’s point total – and his six assists – both represented career-best marks.

Freshman Gunner Short (Catlettsburg, KY) and Anthony finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while freshman Markus Geldenhuys (Pretoria, South Africa) had a game- and career-high 13 rebounds in the winning effort.

Sophomore Raul Timoner (Alaior, Spain) also finished with a career-high seven assists and senior Earl Russell (Warrington, England) had 10 rebounds.

The RedStorm finished with a 64-26 rebounding edge.

OSU-Mansfield shot just 18.2 percent in the first half (6-for-33) and 28.8 percent (19-for-66) for the game.

Ja’Shawn Campbell had 14 points to lead the Mavericks, while Marcus Jackson and Ja’Quan Campbell added 13 points each. Jackson had a team-high seven rebounds, while Ja’Quan Campbell had three assists and three steals.

Rio Grande will return to action next Saturday when it hosts Point Park University in River States Conference action. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

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.