Updated Wed, Jan 29, 2014 4:54 pm
The Rio Grande RedStorm women’s basketball team had gone the entire 2013-14 season without dropping more than two games in a row. That all changed in the RedStorm’s last outing, which they dropped 75-67 to Bluefield College. Rio Grande now finds itself at 14-7 overall and 3-6 in the Mid-South Conference. With just over a month left in the regular season, Rio Grande, now on a three-game losing streak, is eager to return to its winning ways. The RedStorm will look to do so Thursday, when they host the No. 6 Georgetown College Tigers.
An uncharacteristic performance this past Saturday dropped the RedStorm to seventh in the MSC. An offense that has been explosive all season long was rendered stagnant against Bluefield all game. Heading into the contest, Rio Grande ranked in the top five in NAIA Division I in points per game (89.8), offensive rebounds per game (18.3) and field goal percentage (46.1). However, the RedStorm were held to just 38 percent from the field and a season-low nine offensive rebounds. Rio Grande also went 0-for-10 from 3-point range.
Despite this, the RedStorm found themselves trailing just 62-61 with 3:34 remaining in the game. But a 6-0 Bluefield run put the game away. Junior guard Brianna Thomas led Rio yet again with 21 points, four steals and four assists. Freshman forwards Alexis Payne and Brooke Marcum were hampered by foul trouble and therefore did not have as big of an impact as they would have normally.
With the poor 3-point shooting that has plagued the RedStorm on this losing streak, it will be imperative for Marcum and Payne to make their presence felt inside. However, this will be no easy task against a Georgetown team that ranks ninth in NAIA Division I in blocks per game (4.6).
Georgetown College enters the game sitting atop the conference. The Tigers currently hold the head-to-head lead over Campbellsville, who also stands in at 8-1 in the MSC. Senior guard Andrea Howard has been the unquestioned leader for the Tigers also season long. The Frankfort, Ky., native is averaging 17.41 points on the season along with leading the team in 3-pointers, connecting on 39 long balls for the season. Senior guard Kourtney Tyra also makes the Tigers offense go. Tyra averages 14.12 points while leading the team in assists. She comes in at No. 3 in Division I with 6.4 assists per game.
The first half of conference play saw the RedStorm finish 3-6. While this is better than last season, Rio Grande is not satisfied. The RedStorm have their sights set on a conference tournament berth, and an upset of No. 6 Georgetown College Tigers would undoubtedly help that cause.
Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. from Newt Oliver Arena.