RedStorm men use late surge to top Fighting Scots

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

VIENNA, W.Va. — Caleb Wallis scored 10 of his season-high 15 points in the second half, including nine in a go-ahead game-ending run, and teammate Shiloah Blevins added 11 of his 13 points after halftime to lead the University of Rio Grande in a 65-54 win over Ohio Valley University, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference men’s basketball play at the Snyder Activity Center.

The RedStorm improved to 5-4 overall and 4-1 in conference play with a second consecutive victory.

OVU slipped to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in the RSC with the loss.

Wallis, a freshman from Jackson, Ohio, fueled Rio’s 15-3 run over the game’s final 5-1/2 minutes, helping the RedStorm overcome a one-point deficit.

His jumper with 5:11 remaining gave head coach Ryan Arrowood’s team a lead it would never relinquish and his three-point goal two possessions later — just his second trifecta of the season — made it 55-51 with 3:47 left to play.

Rio Grande led by no less than four points the rest of the way and enjoyed its largest cushion of the afternoon with the game’s final margin of victory.

Blevins, a sophomore from South Webster, Ohio, kept the RedStorm afloat throughout much of the first 14 minutes in the second stanza.

He connected on pair of three-point goals to help Rio open up a 42-38 lead with 10:49 left to play, before twice putting the RedStorm back in front in the see-saw affair thanks to a jumper with 8:52 remaining and a pair of free throws with 5:48 left.

The game, which featured eight ties and nine lead changes, saw Ohio Valley bolt to a 10-point lead just 10 minutes in, but a 10-0 Rio Grande run tied the contest and the two teams eventually went to the halftime locker room knotted at 29-all.

Blevins’ three-pointers helped produce — at the time — Rio’s biggest lead of the day, but a 6-0 spurt by the Fighting Scots put the home team back in front.

Six of the nine lead changes occurred over the next four minutes before Wallis put the RedStorm in front for good.

In addition to Wallis and Blevins, Rio also got double-digit scoring outings from sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands) and freshman Cody Lantz (Shelby, OH), who finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Tadic also handed out five assists, while sophomore Taylor Mack (Akron, OH) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the RedStorm, who shot just 36.7 percent overall (22-for-60) and 28.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc (8-for-28).

Andre Leavell had a game-high 18 points and six assists to go along with a team-best seven rebounds in a losing cause for Ohio Valley.

Parker Black added 14 points for the Fighting Scots, who shot just 35 percent overall (20-for-57), 15 percent from distance (3-for-20) and 61 percent at the free throw line (11-for-18).

Rio Grande returns to action next Saturday when it faces RSC East Division rival Indiana University East.

Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. in Richmond, Ind.

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.