RIO GRANDE, Ohio — David Smalley said he could never recall an 0-3 start to the season in his previous 28 campaigns as the head coach of the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team.
Fortunately, Smalley’s squad made sure he wasn’t forced to ponder a fourth straight loss out of the gate.
A trio of freshmen established new career-highs and were among five players in double-figures as the RedStorm rolled to a 110-51 win over Great Lakes Christian College, Saturday afternoon, in the Bevo Francis Classic at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande led from start to finish against the Crusaders (0-3), a National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association school from Lansing, Mich. which, because of injuries, dressed just six players for the contest.
Freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) scored a career-high 22 points in just her second collegiate start, going 11-for-14 from the floor. She also had a career-high six assists.
The duo of fellow frosh Aleea Crites (Parkersburg, WV) and Jocelyn Abraham (Exchange, WV) had big performances of their own with 18 and 14 points, respectively, combining to go 14-for-16 from the floor.
Sophomore Lexi Woods (Waverly, OH) added 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of playing time, while sophomore Kaylie Apperson (McConnelsville, OH) had a season-high 11 points and senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) had nine assists and four steals in the winning effort.
Junior Avery Harper (Seaman, OH) also had four steals in the win.
Rio Grande shot better than 60 percent from the field in each half, finishing the game at 46-for-75 (61.3%), while piling up 31 assist and also out rebounding the Crusaders, 54-34.
The RedStorm scored nine of the game’s first 11 points and gradually increased their advantage, leading by 15 points at the end of the first quarter, by 28 at halftime and 40 points entering the final period.
Rio’s largest lead of the day came with the final margin of victory.
Great Lakes Christian shot just 26.7 percent for the game (20-for-75), including 8-for-30 from three-point range, while also committing 26 turnovers.
Staisha Hamilton scored a game-high 24 points and had three assists in a losing cause, while Ja’Shanek Brooks had 14 points and two blocked shots.
Tanaesha Daniels added 10 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots for the Crusaders.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.