Rio Grande, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande’s four-game winning streak was snapped Saturday afternoon when the HU women’s basketball team handed the RedStorm a 66-62 loss in the opening game of the Newt Oliver Coaches Classic.
Despite some foul trouble in the post, the Foresters battled to own an eight point lead with four minutes left in the opening stanza but Rio Grande dialed up their defensive intensity to outscore HU 11-0 in the final minutes of the half to take a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
The RedStorm went on to take their largest lead of the night at 54-48 with seven minute remaining but the Foresters countered with a 10-3 run over the next three minutes to regain the lead at 58-57 to make for an exciting finish. Four lead changes and two ties later, HU took the lead for good on Allison Greene’s driving layup with just under a minute remaining.
A RedStorm turnover on the next possession gave the ball back to HU and Lauren Meese knocked down one of two free tosses to extend the lead to 64-62. Rio Grande got a good look at a trey with six ticks on the clock but Kelsey Green hauled down the miss and found Greene all alone for an easy layup to seal the road win.
Pazia Speed paced HU with 16 points and four assists. Green chipped in 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds and Greene finished with 11 points. Kate Hammond equaled Speed for game-high honors with 16 points. Kaylee Helton tossed in 12 and grabbed a game-high ten while Sharnise Morris added 11 points and dished out three assists.
Despite being outrebounded by the RedStorm 35-24, the Foresters shot 47.3% from the field (26-for-55) while holding Rio Grande to 40.7% on 22-for-54 shooting.
Huntington (6-4) hosts Judson University on Friday at 7:00 p.m. before heading into Christmas break.