Rio Grande Faces Road Test At Ohio Christian

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The Rio Grande men’s basketball team will travel to Circleville, Ohio, on Tuesday night for a matchup against Ohio Christian for a non-conference game.

This is only the second time Rio Grande has traveled away from Newt Oliver Arena this season.  The RedStorm fell to Marshall 119-77 on Nov. 12 in a non-conference game at the Cam Henderson Center. 

The RedStorm (4-2, 1-1) hit the hardwood for the first time since their 75-72 upset victory at home over No. 10 ranked Lindsey Wilson College on November 23 to earn their first conference win of the season. 

Despite the lengthy break in the schedule, head coach Ken French is confident that the team is ready to resume basketball action.

“We took three days off of practice over the break so that some of our injured players could rest,” French said, “but since then we have worked on individual drills, shooting, and recently have been working on full-court drills so that we can prepare for Ohio Christian.”

Senior guard Jermaine Warmack has proven his leadership skills and scoring ability early on this season.  Warmack’s 22 points against Lindsey Wilson marked his second consecutive game with 22 points against a Mid-South Conference opponent.  The senior additionally collected a team-high six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the winning effort. 

Sophomore forward Phillip Hertz added 15 points to the victory, Bilal Young had 14, and Travis Elliot netted 10. 

Hertz leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points per game, while Warmack and Young lead the squad with 4.4 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game, respectively. 

Ohio Christian (5-5) defeated Mount Veron Nazarene 86-77 in its last outing on Nov. 23.  Wesley Russell led the way for the Trailblazers with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the victory, while Ernie McCoy netted 13 points.  Russell is averaging a team-high 16 points, eight rebounds and 5.6 assists per game for the Trailblazers, who are the defending National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II national champions. 

“This game is our first true road game of the season,” French added. “We have to establish our identity. We have our four captains playing and this game will come down to defensive execution.”

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Maxwell Leadership Center.