Updated Sat, Jan 4, 2014 10:11 pm
For the second time in the 2013-14 season, the Rio Grande RedStorm (10-5, 3-1) defeated a nationally-ranked Division I NAIA opponent. On Saturday night, the RedStorm knocked off the No. 2 Georgetown Tigers (11-3, 2-1) 79-72 at Davis-Reid Alumni Gym. The Tigers drop this game to Rio after winning 11 straight on their home court.
The win marks Rio’s first time under head coach Ken French that it has won back-to-back games on one road trip. Both road victories came in Kentucky with the first being a 66-65 win over Cumberlands on Jan. 2. This is also the first time ever that the RedStorm have won three straight games in the Mid-South Conference.
In the winning effort over Georgetown, Rio was led by sophomore forward Phillip Hertz’s team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Hertz shot exactly 50 percent from the field and leads the team with 14.5 points a game. Junior forward Josh Reagan contributed 20 points against the Tigers, which is his second game in a row scoring 20 points. Guards Evan Legg and Jermaine Warmack also had 10 points apiece. As a team, Rio Grande shot 44.4 percent from behind the arc while the Tigers made only five threes on 21 attempts.
The RedStorm were able to hold Georgetown to a season-low 72 points as it shot 40 percent from the field. The defensive stand for Rio is quite significant because the Tigers have had eight games in which they have scored 100 or more points and rank first in the NAIA in points per game at 101.6. After beginning the season with 11 straight wins, the nationally-ranked Tigers have dropped three of their last five games including their first loss at home to the RedStorm.
Another key statistic in this matchup was Rio’s ability to outrebound Georgetown, 42-34. Going into this contest, the Tigers ranked first in the NAIA in offensive rebounds and total rebounds with over 50 a game.
Despite its first loss this season in the Mid-South Conference, Georgetown has several positives to take away from the game. Senior guard Monty Wilson played all 40 minutes for the Tigers and had a game-high 27 points with 11 of them coming from the foul line. While Wilson currently ranks second in the NAIA with 23.8 points a game, Deondre McWhorter also had a big night for the Tigers. McWhorter had game-highs in two different categories including six blocks and 13 rebounds and netted 19 points while shooting 58.3 percent from the field.
Although Wilson and McWhorter had big individual games, the Tigers could not come together as a team and had only five assists total on the night. Rio Grande looks to extend its three-game win streak as it returns to action at home on Jan. 11 against Shawnee State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.