Rio Grande Beats UC-Clermont, Advances To Tournament Title Game

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Bilal Young scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead Rio Grande in a 95-77 victory over the University of Cincinnati-Clermont Friday night in the men’s division of the Bevo Francis Invitational Tournament at the Newt Oliver Arena.

Freshman forward Bilal Young netted nine points in the first half before adding 11 more after the break.  Young also added four assists to share game-high honors with senior teammate Jermaine Warmack.

Two RedStorm players broke career high records in Friday night’s victory. Junior center Sterling Smoak scored a career-high 16 points on the night while senior guard Ricky Tisdale netted 13 points.  Junior guard Evan Legg contributed to the winning effort with 14 points of his own. 

UC-Clermont (1-2) came out on fire to begin the game with a 6-1 lead over the RedStorm in the first 90 seconds of play but Rio Grande quickly responded.  The RedStorm started to hit their stride as they went on an 11-0 run to take the lead and never looked back.

Rio held a comfortable 21-point lead following a 3-pointer by Evan Legg with 6:13 remaining in the first half, before settling for a 15-point lead, 48-33, at intermission.

The Cougars struggled to get anything going in the second half as the route ensued.

Rio led by 35 points, its biggest lead of the night, with 8:22 remaining in the second half when a basket by Young made the score 80-45.

The RedStorm shot 52.2 percent for the game (35-for-67) and outrebounded the Cougars 54-35.

UC-Clermont shot 40.8 percent from the field (29-for-71) and finished 10-for-27 from three-point range.

J’Ron Anderson and Kendall Beamon netted 16 points each for the Cougars, while Talmadge Bell and Devin Willis added 11 points.

With the victory the RedStorm advance to Saturday’s 5 p.m. title game against Cincinnati Christian.  The Eagles rolled to a 111-73 win over Ohio University-Chillicothe in Friday’s first men’s semifinal. Rio Grande is hoping to keep its momentum alive Saturday in order to improve to 4-0 on the year and win the tournament. 

The men’s championship game between the RedStorm and Cincinnati Christian will tip off at 5 p.m. in Newt Oliver Arena.