WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - Jill Herman equaled a season-high with 26 points, while teammate Jackie Alexander dropped in 20 points of her own to lead the Univesity of the Cumberlands in an 88-55 win over the University of Rio Grande, Thursday night, in Mid-South Conference women’s basketball action at the O. Wayne Rollins Center.
The Patriots, who were among the team’s receiving votes in this week’s NAIA Division I coaches poll, won for the fifth time in seven outings to improve to 16-10 overall and 9-8 in league play.
Rio Grande (6-20, 0-16) lost for the seventh straight time and the 12 time in its last 13 tries.
The RedStorm led 13-10 after a bucket by freshman guard Sarah Bonar with 15:11 left in the first half, but the Patriots reeled off 10 straight points over the next four minutes and never looked back.
Rio Grande did close the gap to just four points on two occasions - 27-23 following a three-pointer by sophomore forward Janie Morris with 6:02 left and 29-25 after a layup by Morris with 5:12 remaining before the intermission - but UC responded with a 12-3 run to open up a 16-point cushion inside the final minute of the half.
The Patriots settled for a 14-point halftime lead and, while Rio Grande sliced the deficit to 11 in the opening minute of the second stanza, the RedStorm got no closer the rest of the way.
The deficit stood at 65-52 after a jumper in the lane by sophomore center Morgan Daniels with 9:26 left to play, but the bucket would be Rio’s final field goal of the night as UC closed the game on a 23-3 run.
The 33-point final margin was the Patriots’ biggest lead of the night.
Herman, who also had a game-high six assists, scored 16 of her 26 points in the second half. Alexander, who also had eight rebounds, had 11 of her 20 in the opening stanza.
Cumberlands, which is coached by former Rio Grande assistant coach Melissa Irvin, also got 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds from Vernisha Moss and 12 points from Dace Bicane.
The Patriots shot 52 percent from the field for the game, including 54.8 percent (17-for-31) in the second half.
Rio Grande, which shot just 29.2 percent in the second half (7-for-24) and 32 percent for the game (16-for-50), was led by senior guard Shardai Morrison-Fountain with 15 points and three steals.
Bonar added 11 points and Daniels pulled down seven rebounds in a losing cause for the RedStorm