Sat, Feb. 25, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - Turrell Morris scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half, while Jermaine Warmack and Shaun Gunnell did the bulk of their damage after the intermission as the University of Rio Grande wrapped up its regular season schedule with a 62-54 Senior Day win over arch-rival Shawnee State, Saturday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference men's basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
The RedStorm improved to 13-17 overall and 4-12 in the MSC with the win. Morris, a junior forward from Columbus, Ohio connected on seven of Rio's season-high 12 three-point goals in the victory, including five in the opening stanza. The seven trifectas also set a single-game season-high for any individual RedStorm player.
Warmack, a sophomore guard from Orange, NJ, had nine of 15 points in the second half, while Gunnell - a senior forward from Columbus - had nine of his 13 points and six of his team-high nine rebounds after the break.
Gunnell was one of two seniors honored prior to the game. The other, guard Brad Cubbie (Dayton, OH), finished with a team-best five assists.
Saturday's win was a come-from-behind effort.
Rio trailed throughout most of the first half and found itself staring at its largest deficit, 35-27, following a bucket by Shawnee's Mark Bryant just 25 seconds into the second half.
But head coach Ken French's squad continued to chip away at the deficit and took a 45-44 lead following a Morris three-pointer with 8:13 left in the game. It was the RedStorm's first lead since a Gunnell free throw made it 7-6 at the 16:07 mark of the first half.
Shawnee (10-19, 4-12) tied the game at 45-all on a Tyler Morgan free throw just under a minute later, but a three-pointer Cubbie - just his fifth make from distance on the season - at the 4:17 mark snapped the deadlock and sent Rio in front to stay.
Cubbie's three-pointer also started a 13-2 run which gave the RedStorm their biggest lead of the contest, 58-47, following a pair of free throws by junior center Dominick Haynes (Cleveland, OH) with 51.2 seconds left.
Tyler Boyles led Shawnee State, which shot just 24 percent from the field (6-for-25) and had just three players score in the second half, with a game-high 24 points. Morgan tallied 18 points and game-best 15 rebounds in a losing cause.
Ironically, the two teams will again on Monday - for the second time in three days and the third time this season - in the opening game of the Mid-South Conference Tournament. Tip time is set for 5 p.m. in Portsmouth.
Although the teams shared identical records in league play during the regular season, Shawnee earned the No. 8 seed and the chance to host the game based on its split with No. 2 seed Georgetown. The Bears and RedStorm both were swept by league champion Lindsey Wilson and Rio also lost both of its games to Georgetown.
Monday's winner advances to the quarterfinal round of the tourney and will face top-seeded Lindsey Wilson in Friday afternoon's opening game at the Frankfort Convention Center's Farnham Dudgeon Arena in Frankfort, Ky.