RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Dwayne Bazemore scored 20 points and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds to lead the University of Rio Grande past Indiana University-Kokomo, 86-79, Tuesday afternoon, in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm upped their record to 13-4 overall and 3-0 in the KIAC with an eighth straight victory.
The eight-game winning streak is Rio’s first since posting eight consecutive victories between Nov. 18 and Dec. 13, 2009.
IU-Kokomo, which suffered a fourth straight loss, slipped to 4-12 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Bazemore, a senior center from Columbus, Ohio, scored 13 of his points in the second half and pulled down 10 of his rebounds in the opening stanza for Rio Grande, which led from start to finish. He also had a game-high three blocked shots.
Junior Matt Rhodes (Westerville, OH) netted 18 points in the winning effort, while senior Kevonta Black (Nashville, TN) narrowly missed a triple-double for the second straight outing by finishing with 14 points, a season-high 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Rio also got 14 points from senior guard Travis Elliott (Ironton, OH) and 11 points from senior guard D.D. Joiner (Columbus, OH), the league’s reigning Player of the Week.
The RedStorm jumped to a 15-5 lead at the game’s outset and led by nine at halftime before extending their advantage to as many as 17 points on two occasions midway through the second half.
The Cougars refused to go away quietly, though, and sliced the deficit to just three, 77-74, after a Bryan Powell three-pointer with 1:30 remaining in the game.
However, that’s as close as IU-K would get the rest of the way.
Rio Grande connected on seven of eight free throw attempts in the final 58.5 seconds – including a 3-for-4 effort from Bazemore – to seal the victory.
Nick Teeter had a game-high 26 points to go along with a team-best nine rebounds and seven assists for IU-Kokomo. All but seven of his points came after halftime.
Micah Pier added 21 points – 15 in the second half – for the Cougars, while David Kelly finished with 15.
Rio Grande will return to action on Saturday against Carlow University at Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.