BECKLEY, W.Va. — One year ago, it was the University of Rio Grande who ended the post-season run of West Virginia University-Tech.
On Saturday afternoon, it was the Golden Bears who punctuated an outstanding regular season in their final post-season tuneup with a rout of the visiting RedStorm.
Savannah Shamblin scored 17 of her team-high 19 points in the second half and WVU-Tech outscored Rio Grande in each of the game’s first three quarters en route to a 93-71 victory on Senior Day at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Tech, which completed a regular season sweep of the RedStorm, improved to 21-9 overall and 16-1 in River States Conference play.
The Golden Bears had already wrapped up the RSC’s East Division crown, the overall league championship and punched its ticket to the upcoming NAIA DII National Tournament as the conference’s overall regular season champion.
Rio Grande, which had a modest two-game win streak snapped, finished the regular season at 16-14 overall and 6-11 in the RSC.
The RedStorm hung tough early and trailed just 16-13 after a bucket by freshman Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) with 3:56 left in the opening quarter, but the Golden Bears extended their lead to eight by the close of the period, to 18 by halftime and to as many as 28 points on five separate occasions in the second half.
Rio Grande got no closer than 16 points at any point after intermission.
WVU-Tech shot 54.8 percent for the game and had 30 assists on its 40 made field goals.
The Golden Bears also enjoyed a whopping 42-29 edge in rebounding.
In addition to Shamblin’s big day, Tech also got 18 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and five assists from Laura Requena.
ShanEttine Butler added 13 points to the winning effort, while Brittney Justice finished with 12 points and seven assists.
Rio Grande was led by senior Jaida Carter (New Philadelphia, OH), who had a game-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Senior Chelsy Slone (Gallipolis, OH) finished with 17 points in a losing cause, while Harper added 13 points.
Rio Grande will return to action on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the River States Conference Women’s Basketball Championship.
The RedStorm, the No. 4 seed from the East Division, will face West Division top seed Alice Lloyd College at the ALC Student Center in Pippa Passes, Ky.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.