Updated Sat, Dec 7, 2013 11:07 pm
The Rio Grande RedStorm battled hard defensively all game but Josh Richardson’s layup rolled in with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, as Rio Grande fell to Taylor University 63-61.
The last-second basket from Richardson put a halt to a great defensive battle from both teams. Rio Grande shot just 33.9 percent from the floor while Taylor connected on 42.1 percent of its shots.
With 13:34 remaining in the first half, Phillip Hertz hit one from the perimeter, which narrowed Rio’s deficit to one as the RedStorm trailed 10-9, but they suddenly turned cold. Taylor went on a 9-0 scoring run over the course of the next five minutes of play as it extended its lead to 20-9. Rio regained its momentum after Ricky Tisdale knocked down a 3-pointer with 7:18 remaining in the first half. Evan Legg shot one from behind the arc with 3:25 remaining to tie the game at 22. Josh Riikonen scored the next 6 points for Taylor and led the Trojans into intermission with a 28-26 lead.
Rio regained the lead for only the second time in the game at the 4:50 mark in the second half after a three-pointer by Travis Elliot and narrowed the score to 46-44.
Kyle Stidom scored a basket and made a free throw to tie the game at 51 with 43 seconds remaining in regulation. Bilal Young’s field goal attempt fell short on the following possession, which gave Taylor the opportunity to take the last shot. Riikonen threw up a 3-point attempt with one second remaining, but the shot came short and overtime action followed.
The RedStorm and Trojans exchanged leads several times in overtime before Jermaine Warmack nailed two free throws to tie the game at 61 with 12 seconds remaining. Jordan Richardson’s late layup sealed the game and clinched the Ivanhoe Classic Championship for the Trojans.
Despite lacking its typical long-distance attack, shown by a 1-of-12 showing from behind the arc, Taylor countered with a 42-22 edge over the RedStorm in the paint. Riikonen and Stidom combined for 16-of-31 shooting and 42 points in the victory, while also teaming for 15 rebounds for the Trojans. Riikonen ended the contest with a game-high 22 points to go with his six rebounds, two blocks, and one steal. Stidom added 20 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
Warmack scored seven of his 13 points in overtime action as Rio shot 34 percent (20-for-59) from the field. Warmack’s performance on Saturday marked his seventh game scoring in double figures. Bilal Young and Phillip Hertz posted 11 points each.
The loss snapped Rio’s three-game winning streak as the RedStorm finished their week of road play with a 2-1 record. Warmack and Harris of Rio and Riikonen and Stidom of Taylor were honored to the Ivanhoe All-Tournament team after the game.
Rio (6-3) will return home to square off against Wilberforce University in the Newt Oliver Classic Coaches’ Classic on Nov. 14. Tipoff is set for 5:45 p.m.