Rio Takes Down Wilberforce, 98-70

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Phillip Hertz recorded a game-high in points and rebounds leading the Rio Grande RedStorm to a 98-70 victory over the Wilberforce Bulldogs in the Eighth annual Newt Oliver Coaches Classic. The win improves Rio’s record to 7-3, which is its best 10-game start since the 2008-09 season.

After their overtime loss to Taylor University last week, the RedStorm responded in a major way against the Bulldogs. The win also came in front of former coach Newt Oliver, who was in attendance for the Classic that is named after him for his contributions to Rio Grande Basketball. The Classic also featured five other games including eight local high schools and a pair of prep schools.

“I think it’s a great day of basketball in our region,” head coach Ken French said. “We get to match up against some teams that we might not usually play every year. We use it [the Newt Oliver Classic] to promote our university and in one day we are able to have a lot of different kids visit campus.”

The teams that traveled to Rio Grande for their Saturday games also got to see an impressive RedStorm team dismantle the Bulldogs on both sides of the court. Sophomore forward Phillip Hertz led Rio with a game-high 23 points, shooting 50 percent form the field. Hertz also corralled a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior guard Jermaine Warmack led the game with seven assists, while Wilberforce only had seven assists as a team combined. This win marks Rio’s best 10-game start in five years.

“I was happy with how we played coming off our exam week. We played unselfish and as a team for 40 minutes,” French said. “Obviously we aren’t going to complain about the 7-3 start but it’s still early and we are being patient with the process of developing this team. We are happy but not satisfied because we have let a few games get away from us. We must use those to learn from and correct our mistakes to get better.”

Rio looks to continue its success at home against Ohio Christian University on Dec. 17. Tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m.