Rio Riding Momentum Entering Conference Matchup

By
Patrick Gifford

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 15, 2014 8:27 pm

The Rio Grande RedStorm (13-4, 2-3 MSC) women’s basketball team will look to even up its Mid-South Conference record at 3-3 when they host the St. Catherine Patriots (3-9, 1-5 MSC) Thursday evening at Newt Oliver Arena.

The RedStorm will seek to continue the momentum gained by a 112-108 victory in overtime against rival Shawnee State University on Saturday. The chaotic game marked the first time Rio has earned back-to-back wins against Shawnee State in 47 years. Junior guard Brianna Thomas recorded the first known triple-double in Rio Grande program history with 29 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Brooke Marcum also added a career-high 23 points and team-leading 18 rebounds.

This overtime shootout helped to further solidify the RedStorm’s explosive offense in the Division I NAIA ranks. Rio Grande now ranks first in Division I in scoring offense per game averaging 90.588 points per contest. The RedStorm also are ranked second in Division I for total scoring offense with 1540 points scored. Rio has also shot the ball very effectively, ranking third in Division I with a field goal percentage of .465. This high-powered offense is spearheaded by Thomas, who leads the Mid-South Conference in scoring with 19.82 points per game.

The RedStorm, however, will be facing a St. Catherine College team who prides itself on protecting the rim. The Patriots come in at third in Division I in blocks per game with 5.500. The Patriots also rank 11th in Division I in total blocks with 66. Senior forward Rianne Hofstraat leads the MSC with four blocks per game, and 48 on the season.

The Patriots are led on offense by senior point guard Machera Calhoun. The Ft. Myers, Fla. native averages 13.7 points per game. Not far behind her is the senior forward Hofstraat. She averages 12.7 points per game. As a team, St. Catherine averages just 71.33.

The RedStorm will continue to look to Thomas, Sarah Bonar and Marcum to carry the load offensively. Bonar trails Thomas’ conference-leading scoring averages by only two points, averaging 17.8 points per game. Marcum, coming off of a career night, looks to continue to crash the boards and work inside. She leads the team with 156 total rebounds.

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. from Newt Oliver Arena

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