SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Kendall Fisher scored six of her team-high 18 points in a 10-0 fourth quarter run which propelled Lawrence Tech University to a 76-66 win over the University of Rio Grande, Wednesday night, in non-conference women’s basketball action at the Don Ridler Field House.
The game was the season-opener for both squads.
The Blue Devils’ late rally became a necessity after Rio Grande erased a 12-point second quarter deficit and took a 50-48 lead on a layup by sophomore Lexi Woods (Waverly, OH) with 9:32 left to play.
The score was deadlocked at 60-60 after a layup by RedStorm junior Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) with 4:10 remaining in the contest, but Rio failed to score again until a jumper by sophomore Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) with 1:37 left.
By that time, though, Fisher had fueled the scoring spurt which restored LTU’s double-digit advantage.
Rio Grande got no closer than eight points inside the game’s final 90 seconds.
Fisher scored 12 of her 18 points in the final stanza, including an 8-for-9 performance at the foul line.
Teryn Kline added 10 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Blue Devils, who went 15-for-18 as a team at the foul line over the final 10 minutes and 29-for-37 at the charity stripe for the game.
Kylee Batey added 10 points of her own to the winning effort, while Fisher also had a team-high eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Lawrence Tech turned a one-point lead at the end of the first period into a 12-point cushion, 32-20, following a three-point goal by Julia Huey with 17 seconds left before halftime.
Rio Grande roared to life in the third period, though, and forged a 44-44 tie after a pair of free throws by freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) with 1:33 left in the quarter.
The RedStorm took their largest lead of the night, 54-51, after a layup by Jordan with 7:23 remaining in the game, but four of the game’s 13 ties and one of its nine lead changes occurred over the next three-plus minutes before the Blue Devils’ game-changing late run.
Rio Grande shot just 36.9 percent from the floor overall (24-for-65), while going 3-for-19 (15.8%) from three-point range and 15-for-22 (68.2%) at the free throw line.
The RedStorm also committed 27 turnovers which led to 24-11 advantage for LTU in points off of turnovers.
Harper had a game-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the loss for Rio Grande, while Jordan had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Woods had eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the RedStorm, while senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) collected a game-high five steals.
Rio Grande returns to action on Nov. 7 at Rochester (Mich.) University.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.