ST. CATHARINE, Ky. — St. Catharine College built a 17-point lead inside the opening six minutes of the game and went on to post an easy 87-65 win over the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference women’s basketball action at Lourdes Hall.
The Patriots, who won for the fifth straight time and the seventh time in their last eight outings, improved to 11-4 overall and 5-3 in the MSC with the victory – their first in eight all-time meetings with the RedStorm.
Rio Grande slipped to 5-12 overall and 0-8 in league play with a fourth consecutive loss.
St. Catharine reeled off 17 straight points in a span of just under four minutes to take a 19-2 lead following a trio of free throws by Janae Howard with 14:07 remaining in the first half.
Rio Grande got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
In fact, Rio didn’t record its first field goal of the day until junior guard Kate Hammond nailed a jumper in the lane just over 6-1/2 minutes into the contest and the RedStorm failed to reach double figures in scoring until freshman center Betsy Schramm hit a pair of free throws with 7:35 left in the half to make it 32-10.
Rio hit just seven of its 32 overall field goal attempts in the first half (21.9 percent).
The RedStorm followed up their first half struggles by managing just four points in the first 7:14 of the second stanza and saw their deficit reach its largest margin of the day – 32 points – after a three-pointer by SCC’s Stacie Shrout made it 68-32 with 13:27 left to play.
The 22-point final margin was as close as Rio got at any stage of the second half.
Reilly Poirier led the Patriots with 16 points, while also pulling down seven rebounds. Rianne Hofstraat added 15 points, as well as a team-high eight rebounds and five blocked shots in the winning effort, while Janae Howard also had 15 points and a pair of steals.
Shrout completed SCC’s quartet of double-digit scorers with 10 points. She also had a pair of steals.
The Patriots shot 56 percent in the opening half (14-for-25), but finished the game at just 40.4 percent after connecting on just seven of their 27 field goal attempts (25.9 percent) after the intermission. They also enjoyed a 45-44 edge in rebounding.
Rio Grande was led by freshman forward Sarah Bonar, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Janie Morris and senior guard Shardai Morrison-Fountain added 13 and 11 points, respectively, while sophomore center Morgan Daniels also had eight rebounds.
The game’s three-man officiating crew whistled 59 personal fouls between the two teams (31 against SCC and 28 against Rio) and the two squads combined for a whopping 87 free throw attempts – the Patriots finished 37-for-46 at the charity stripe and the RedStorm was 26-for-41 at the line.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday night when MSC newcomer Bluefield College pays a visit to the Newt Oliver Arena for a 6 p.m. tipoff.