Rio Grande Opens MSC Play With No. 7 Cumberland

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Rio Grande women’s basketball team will play its first Mid-South Conference game of the season this Thursday. It will be hosting Cumberland University, who’s ranked seventh in the NAIA, after last year’s devastating loss of 56-92.

The RedStorm will be heading into this game with a 5-1 record, which is much better than the Bulldogs 1-3. After last year’s loss, the RedStorm will be looking to seek vengeance. 

Rio is coming off of a tough loss of 77-72, which resulted in an end to its undefeated streak. While facing the Yellow Jackets, the RedStorm had a good start to the game, leading by 10 points on two different occasions during the first half. With a little more than five minutes left before intermission the score was tied at 24.

Throughout the game there were 10 ties and 17 lead changes. Within the final three minutes it was a constant back and forth between the two teams.

Rio held the lead with less than a minute left in the game, but West Virginia State managed to win the game after Greenleaf and Carson each hit a set of free throws.

This season’s change in foul calling has shown to be a struggle for the RedStorm, and while they are improving, last game’s foul calls contributed to Rio’s loss. 

Junior guard Brianna Thomas had a career-high of 25 points and freshman forward Brooke Marcum had a career-best of 15 rebounds.

Cumberland will be coming off of a loss as well, after facing Freed-Hardeman, who is ranked sixth in the NAIA. Some of the Bulldogs’ leading players include senior TaCouya Allen and junior Brittany Lawson. Allen leads the team with 16.8 points per game, and Lawson leads in rebounds with seven per game.

Rio Grande begins conference play with a home field advantage in Newt Oliver Arena. Cumberland will be defending last year’s MSC regular season title. Tipoff against the Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m.