Updated Fri, Mar 7, 2014 11:19 pm
A 25-5 run late in the second half secured a first round victory for the No. 9 Georgetown College Tigers, 87-77, and in turn ended Rio Grande’s season.
With 10:16 remaining in the Mid-South Conference Tournament matchup, the seventh-seeded Rio Grande RedStorm (18-13, 7-11 MSC) women’s basketball team was leading the second seeded Tigers 58-50. The RedStorm then went ice cold for the next several minutes and a high-powered Georgetown College (20-7, 13-5 MSC) offense took over. Clutch scoring by sophomore guard Haley Armstrong and junior forward Devanny King sparked the 25-5 spurt and gave Georgetown a 75-63 lead with 1:48 remaining.
And from there Rio Grande was in trouble. They were forced to foul a team that ranks third in NAIA Division I in free throw shooting percentage. Georgetown held true to form, and sank enough free throws to ice the game.
Much of Georgetown’s late-game success was due to its ability to shut down Rio Grande sophomore forward Sarah Bonar, who was key to the RedStorm’s scoring in the first half. Bonar finished with 19 points, with 13 of those coming in the first half.
Rio Grande junior guard Brianna Thomas did her best to keep the RedStorm in it late, finishing with a game-high 29 points.
Georgetown was not led by its usual backcourt duo of senior guard Andrea Howard and Kourtney Tyra. Howard, in fact, was on the bench for most of the final minutes of the game. This was in large part due to the impressive play of Armstrong, who finished the game with 16 points. King led the team with 19 points.
Georgetown’s victory not only sends the Tigers to the MSC Tournament semifinals, but it also improves head coach and former Rio Grande basketball player Andrea McCloskey to 7-0 against her old head coach David Smalley and Rio Grande. This game could also potentially mark the final matchup between these two teams, as Rio Grande will be moving to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference next season.
When the RedStorm begin KIAC play next winter, they will not have lost any players from this season’s roster. The only senior on the team, Kate Hammond, has been out all season with an injury and will be allowed to return to the team for next season.