Updated Sat, Jan 25, 2014 1:19 pm
The 2013-2014 season for the Rio Grande RedStorm (14-6 overall, 3-5 MSC) women’s basketball team has been chock-full of streaks. Rio began the year winning five games in a row before dropping two. The RedStorm then tallied off seven straight wins. The latest two-game losing streak is the most recent trend in what has been an exciting season for Rio Grande.
The RedStorm will look to start another winning streak Saturday when it travels to Bluefield College to take on the Rams (8-8 overall, 3-5 MSC). This game marks the first of two matchups between the conference foes.
Rio Grande will be looking to get back into the win column after a hard-fought defeat to the University of Pikeville on Thursday. The high-scoring affair came down to the final minute. A late three and two clutch free throws by Pikeville’s senior guard Callisha Johnson proved to be the difference. Junior forward Khalilah Quigley led Pikeville in scoring with 22 points.
For the RedStorm, Brianna Thomas was again the catalyst throughout the night. The junior guard finished with a game-high 24 points along with four assists and six rebounds. Sophomore Sarah Bonar chipped in with 20 points and nine rebounds. Rio had a very balanced attack all game, with six players scoring in double digits.
In order defeat Bluefield College, the RedStorm will focus on tightening up its defense. The Rams only average 72 points per game (compared to Rio Grande’s 89.8) but teams tend to score more when they play the up-tempo style that the RedStorm force its opponents to play.
“Bluefield is a really physical team,” Rio Grande assistant coach Brandon Bias said. “When we speed them up they could give us some issues. They are a fast team and rebound really well.”
The Rams have three players consistently scoring in double digits. Senior guard Tega McNeal leads the team with 17.1 points per game. Junior forward Asia Wheeler adds 14.4 points per game along with leading the team in rebounds per game (9.2). Senior forward Janee Simmons also averages 12.7 points per game.
The RedStorm, however, will enter this game with some added motivation.
“We lost two nail-biters to them last year,” Bias said. “So we will definitely have a chip on our shoulder. We just need to play sound defense and hold them to 80 points.”
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. from the Dome Gymnasium in Bluefield, VA.