Updated Wed, Feb 26, 2014 6:40 pm
The second half of February has gone as well as the RedStorm could have possibly hoped as Rio Grande has won its last three games and surged from ninth place to sixth place in the Mid-South Conference.
The RedStorm (18-10, 7-9) will look to close out the month with another victory on Thursday when they travel to Lindsey Wilson to take on the Blue Raiders (18-10, 8-8).
Just as their last three contests have been, the game against Lindsey Wilson will be crucial for the RedStorm. A victory over the Blue Raiders would catapult Rio Grande ahead of Lindsey Wilson and into fifth place in the conference. With only two regular season games remaining, conference standing is becoming increasingly important, especially with the MSC Tournament looming.
These two teams have not met since December. Rio Grande won the first matchup, 90-83, and picked up its first conference victory of the 2013-2014 season. Rio Grande assistant coach Brandon Bias still doesn’t put too much stock in what happened in the last matchup.
“We are both completely different teams from the first time we played,” Bias said. “So you really can’t take too much weight from that game.”
One obvious difference in this matchup will be the atmosphere. Lindsey Wilson plays its best basketball at home, earning 12 of its 18 wins in its home gym. The Blue Raiders have only lost three games at home. Meanwhile, six of the RedStorm’s ten losses have come on the road.
“Playing at Lindsey Wilson is going to be a really hard place to play,” Bias said. “They play extra scrappy at home and we are definitely going to be in for a dogfight.”
With so much at stake, the game is sure to have added intensity. The winner of this game will most likely end up with a better seed once tournament play rolls around. Rio Grande, however, is focusing on not looking too far ahead.
“We continue to challenge our team to just take it one game at a time,” Bias said. “They are one game ahead of us in the standings so our focus needs to just be on [Lindsey Wilson] right now.”