Pioneers pound cold-shooting RedStorm women

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Inevitably, bad nights happen.

Tuesday night was one of those nights for the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team.

The RedStorm suffered through its second-worst shooting performance of the season and failed to connect on at least one three-point goal for the first time in more than five years during a 74-50 loss at Point Park University, Tuesday night, in River States Conference action at the CCAC-Allegheny Gymnasium.

Rio Grande, which lost for the ninth time in 10 games, slipped to 14-13 overall and 5-10 in conference play.

The RedStorm maintained its game-and-a-half lead over Carlow for the fourth and final post-season berth from the league’s East Division. The Celtics dropped a 69-65 decision to division leader West Virginia Tech.

Point Park improved to 12-13 overall and 8-6 inside the RSC.

Rio Grande forged a pair of ties, but never led in the game, connecting on just 20 of its 68 overall field goal attempts for 29.4 percent shooting. The only outing to produce a lower percentage was a 73-63 loss at IU East on Nov. 28 (23-for-79, 29.1%).

Only eight of Rio’s 50 points came from outside the paint or away from the free throw line.

The RedStorm also went 0-for-17 from three-point range. The last time Rio went without a three-pointer was in a 79-74 loss at Webber International (Fla.) on Dec. 21, 2014 – a stretch of 140 consecutive games.

Point Park outscored Rio in each of the first three quarters and led by as many 27 points early in the final stanza.

Michelle Burns had a team-high 19 points to lead four double-digit scorers for the Pioneers. She also finished with a game-high eight assists and four steals.

Sam Weir added 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while Kaitlyn Smith added 16 points of her own and Baylee Look tossed in 10 points.

Senior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH) finished with a game-high 21 points in a losing cause for Rio Grande. She also had nine rebounds and a team-best four assists.

Freshman Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) also narrowly missed a double-double for Rio, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Jimi Howell (Barberton, OH) tallied 11 points, a game-high 17 rebounds and two blocked shots for the RedStorm.

Rio Grande can clinch a post-season berth on Saturday when it hosts Carlow for Senior Day at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Tipoff is set for 1 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.