INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Christian Stewart scored 10 of his 15 points after halftime as 12th-ranked Marian University pulled away in the second half for a 78-56 win over the University of Rio Grande, Tuesday night, in non-conference men’s basketball action at Marian Arena.
The Knights improved to 3-0 with the victory.
Rio Grande dropped to 1-2 with the loss.
The RedStorm trailed just 34-30 at halftime, but came undone over the final 20 minutes.
Rio shot just 35.7 percent overall (10-for-28) after intermission, including a 1-for-11 performance from beyond the three-point arc.
Marian went 16-for-28 from the floor (57.1%) in the second half, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, while also enjoying a 22-10 edge in rebounding after the break.
Still, the RedStorm found themselves knotted in a 36-all deadlock after a pair of free throws by freshman Andrew Shull (Milton, WV) with 17:27 remaining in the contest.
But the Knights responded with a 16-4 run over the next 4-1/2 minutes to take control once and for all, leading by no less than nine points the rest of the way. Stewart had a pair of three-point goals during the game-changing spurt.
Marian’s largest lead of 25 points, 74-49, came after a layup by Gavin Bizeau with 3:14 left to play.
The Knights, who finished with a dominating 43-21 edge in rebounding for the game, were led by Luke Gohmann with 16 points.
Luke Heady had a game-high eight rebounds and three assists in the winning effort, while Christian Harvey also had three assists.
Shull led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Rio Grande with a game-high 17 points, while sophomore Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH) had 12 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Junior Cam Harris (Amelia, VA) finished with 11 points and a team-high three assists in a losing cause, while sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands) had 10 points.
Rio finished 22-of-54 overall (40.7%), but was just 4-for-20 from three-point range (20.0%).
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday night when it entertains Campbellsville University-Harrodsburg in the opening round of the Bevo Francis Classic.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.