PIPPA PASSES, Ky. — Not even an 11-day hiatus for COVID-19 protocols could slow down the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team.
The RedStorm built a 19-point third quarter lead before using an 11-0 fourth quarter run to put down a late rally by Alice Lloyd College and secure a 90-77 victory over the Eagles, Saturday afternoon, in River States Conference action at the Perry Campus Center.
Rio Grande, which was ranked 18th in the latest NAIA coaches’ Top 25 poll, improved to 20-1 overall and 8-0 in the RSC with a fourth straight win.
Alice Lloyd slipped to 12-6 overall and 5-4 in conference play with the loss.
Rio Grande led from start to finish, stretching a 10-point cushion at the close of the opening quarter and a 12-point halftime lead to as many as 19 points, 66-47, after an offensive rebound and stickback by freshman Jocelyn Abraham (Exchange, WV) with 2:38 remaining in the third quarter.
But the host Eagles roared to life over the next seven minutes and closed the gap to just seven, 75-68, following a basket by Katie Jo Moore with 5:50 left in the game.
The RedStorm survived the onslaught, though, by scoring 11 consecutive points over the next 3-1/2 minutes to restore an 18-point edge and put the win on ice.
Junior Hailey Jordan (Columbus, OH) finished with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in the winning effort. Ten of the points came in the first period and allowed her to surpass the 1,000-point mark for her career.
Four other Rio players also finished in double figures.
Junior Ella Skeens (Chillicothe, OH) narrowly missed a double-double of her own, tallying 12 points and nine rebounds. She also shared team- and game-high honors with five assists and had a game-best three steals.
Freshman Kaylee Darnell (Wheelersburg, OH) added 11 points for the RedStorm, while senior Chyna Chambers (Columbus, OH) and freshman Harlei Antritt (Newark, OH) netted 10 points each in the win. Chambers also had five assists.
Rio Grande shot just under 53 percent from the floor in the opening quarter, but finished the game at 41.3 percent (33-for-80). Sixteen of the 47 missed shots were the result of blocked shots by the Eagles.
The RedStorm also had just 12 turnovers and enjoyed a commanding 63-42 edge in rebounding.
Haley Hall led Alice Lloyd with 23 points, but finished just 7-for-25 from the floor. She also had two steals.
Moore tallied a career-high 12 points and five assists in a losing cause, while Hannah Dash finished with 10 points.
Alex Clifton and Maddie Thompson pulled down eight rebounds each for the Eagles and Clifton had six blocked shots.
Alice Lloyd shot just 35.4 percent as a team (28-for-79) and finished 7-for-25 from three-point range (28.0%).
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Thursday night when it travels to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.