Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm women's basketball team ended the 2009-10 regular season with an impressive 73-68 victory over Georgetown College on Saturday afternoon at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Rio Grande (16-14, 7-7 MSC) assured itself of a plus .500 season with the win. Georgetown (18-11, 9-5 MSC) had a four-game winning streak go by the wayside with the defeat.
Rio led for all but four possessions in the game. The RedStorm jumped out a 13-4 lead at the 14:06 mark of the first half after back-to-back three's by freshman forward Kati Moore (Lancaster, OH) and junior guard Jenna Smith (Bellefontaine, OH).
Georgetown would rally with a 10-0 run to take the lead at 14-13. The Tigers owned short-lived leads of 17-15, 19-17 and 21-19 in the first half.
Rio gained control of the game at the 7:11 mark of the first half when junior guard Bre Davis (Marietta, OH) drained a three-pointer to give the RedStorm a 25-21 lead. Rio's largest first half lead was at eight points (37-29).
Rio led at halftime 37-31.
The RedStorm were able to keep Georgetown at arm's length in the second half and took their largest lead of the game at 61-50 on a three-pointer from junior forward Leah Kendro (Strongsville, OH) with 6:53 remaining in the game.
The story of the game was the play of senior forward Courtney Congrove (Chillicothe, OH). Congrove, playing in her final game in front of the home crowd, scored a career-high 16 points and made her first six shots of the game. She matched Smith for team-high in points and equaled Kendro with a team-high six rebounds.
Kendro ended the game with 14 points (all in the second half). Davis nearly recorded a double-double with nine points and 10 assists. The 10 assists ties a single game record that she established in the Mid-South Conference opener versus Lindsey Wilson, January 14.
Rio shot the ball extremely from beyond the three-point arc, connecting on 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from long range, including 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) in the first half.
Georgetown placed three players in double figures led by Kourtney Tyra with 22 points. Mikkah Rogers added 16 points and Ashley Prince chipped in with 11 off the bench.
"This was a great win," Rio Grande head coach David Smalley said. "Today we shot the three well, 59 percent, 10-of-17 and I guarantee you every team in this league or any team that has to face us in the (Mid-South Conference) tournament has got to be concerned about us."
"If we shoot the ball well, we're going to create some issues for a lot of different teams," Smalley added. "I thought we played a great floor game, tonight, it all came together, we had a great game plan, we shot the ball well, I thought we had bench play, which down at Pikeville (on Thursday) we didn't."
"Being senior night, being parent appreciation night, I thought were big motivators and I think that got our kids fired up," he said.
Smalley complimented his lone senior on her game on her day. "Courtney Congrove played a great, great floor game, she scored, she did the little things, she rebounded, she boxed out, she got the deflections, she communicated," Smalley said. "She did all the little things, the things you expect your seniors to do and she did that extremely well."
Congrove was pleased with her play and getting the win to top it off. "It was pretty exciting, but like the coaches told us, for a win we all needed to go out and play our roles and that's what we did and got us a W," Congrove said. "It was an all-round game, we hit our shots, but our defensive game was excellent."
"We did what we needed to do," she added.
The season moves into the post-season realm as Rio Grande will be the No. 5 seed in the Mid-South Conference Tournament. The RedStorm will play No. 4 seed Lindsey Wilson, March 4 at the Frankfort Civic Center. The game time is to be determined.
Rio and Lindsey Wilson split the season series with each team winning at home. Rio Grande defeated the Blue Raiders at the Newt Oliver Arena, January 14 in the MSC opener, 79-67 and LWC countered with a 91-69 triumph at home, February 11.
Stretch Internet will have play-by-play coverage of Rio Grande's post-season run.