Rio Grande Starts Conference Play With Loss To Cumberland

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After a hard-fought game, Rio Grande fell to Cumberland University, 97-89. The loss puts the RedStorm at a rocky start to conference play.  

Friday marked the second straight loss for the RedStorm, putting them at 5-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.

Similar to Rio Grande’s last loss, there was a continuous shift in the lead between the two teams with multiple ties.

With five minutes left in the first half, the score was tied at 29. Cumberland grabbed the lead by halftime with a close score of 39-38. The Bulldogs gained the lead after TaCouya Allen shot a 3-pointer with only three seconds left in the half.

The Bulldogs showed strength at the free throw line during the second half, where they scored 18 of their final 25 points.

Three RedStorm players had career highs on the night. Junior Brianna Thomas led the team with 33 points and three assists, making five of her six free throws. Alexis Payne had a career high of 20 points, as well as Julia Heaberlin with 13. Freshman forward Brooke Marcum led Rio Grande in rebounds, with nine on the night.

The Bulldogs had several players that contributed to the win. Senior Casie Cowan led the team with 31 points scored against the RedStorm. Freshman Katie Smith scored 22 points in the second half, with a total of 27 overall. Following Smith was Allen with 13 points and Brittany Lawson with 10 as well as six rebounds.

The loss was a tough one for Rio Grande, but it will have another home court advantage this Saturday when facing Lindsey Wilson. Last year’s matchup resulted in a 79-60 loss for the RedStorm, but this season they hope for a win to better their conference record. This will be the second game in MSC play. Tipoff will begin at 4 p.m. in Newt Oliver Arena.