Updated Thu, Mar 6, 2014 10:25 pm
The 2013-14 season exhibited glimmers of Mid-South Conference glory but the RedStorm ultimately fell short down the stretch.
D.D. Joiner scored the opening basket of the game for the RedStorm but St. Catharine never trailed again as the Patriots handed Rio Grande’s its seventh consecutive loss, ultimately ending Rio’s season.
Elements of physicality were on display in the first half as both teams suffered six early fouls in the opening minutes but St. Catharine proved its tenacity and marched out to an early 15-6 lead.
St. Catharine proved its sixth-place ranking in the NAIA Division I in steals per game Thursday evening by forcing eight costly turnovers.
The full-court press gave Rio fits early in the first half but Joiner and Ricky Tisdale heated up from the 3-point line. Rio cut its deficit to two with 9:30 remaining in the opening stanza. The RedStorm trailed by six at halftime, but the 41-35 score at halftime proved to be the closest Rio would come.
St. Catharine continued to control the pace in the second half and ran away with a convincing victory.
Rio Grande fell to 16-14 overall and finished 9-10 in the Mid-South Conference. St. Catharine will play on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
The end of the season concludes the final chapter in the collegiate careers of two Rio Grande seniors. Tisdale, a William Jewell College transfer, only spent one season in red and black but was able to contribute in every contest and averaged 8.3 points per game.
Jermaine Warmack will hold a special place in the hearts of the Rio Grande faithful having spent all four years in a RedStorm uniform. Warmack scored his 1,000th career point earlier in the season and is Rio Grande’s all-time leader in assists.
— Jermaine Warmack (@JWarmack4) March 7, 2014
Even though head coach Ken French’s eighth season at the helm ended on a low note, he expressed his gratitude to his team and the Rio Grande fan base.
Very tough to end this way. But I am proud of this team and they have helped me thru a very difficult time. We will continue to grow!
— Ken French (@RioBasketball) March 7, 2014