SSU Sports Information
Women’s basketball jumped on rival Rio Grande early and often, using a 17-point first half edge to carry the team to the conference victory. The second-ranked Bears (7-1, 2-1 MSC) outscored Rio Grande (2-4, 0-3 MSC) 39-22 in the opening half and would never look back in its last game before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Alex Pohl finished with a double-double, scoring a team-high 17 points and pulling down another 10 rebounds in the victory. For her efforts, she was awarded the Dick Hyland Player of the Game for SSU. Three other players also finished with double figure scoring in the win. Schera Sampson added 16, while Diane Abbady and Alannah Sheets finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Down a basket at 6-4 just under three minutes into the game, SSU went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to take their first lead of the contest. They would never relinquish that lead and after a RedStorm basket made the score 13-8, the Bears went on an 11-0 run to stretch their lead to 24-8 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. All told, from the 17:52 mark through the 10:33 mark – a span of just over seven minutes – the Bears outscored their rivals 20-2.
The Bears would lead by as many as 21 in the opening half as Allison Nagle and Kara Long each hit threes right around the five minute mark, making the score 35-14. The Bears would carry a 17-point advantage into the break as Ryan Edwards made a layup right before the first half closed.
Rio Grande would try to make its move to get back into the game early in the second half. Just under six minutes into the second half, the RedStorm had cut the Bears’ lead to eight, 46-38, with 14:05 left to play. However, SSU answered right back with a 10-0 run. Abbady scored the first eight in that streak before two free throws from Pohl gave the Bears a 56-38 lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
The Bears would hold their largest lead of the game at the 6:17 mark following a Sheets’ three which gave the team a 22-point lead. The RedStorm scored 16 of the final 25 points in the contest but it was far too late to mount any serious rally as the Bears emerged with the win in the conference rivalry game, 76-61.
A strong defensive outing by the Bears held the guests to just 29-percent from the field and just over 17-percent from distance. On the other hand, the Bears shot over 47-percent from the field. Each of the Bears’ starters finished with at least one steal, while four of the five made at least two. Sheets would be the lone Bears’ player to finish with three.
The Bears will now have over a week away from the competition floor before heading back on the road for their first MSC games away from Waller Gymnasium. The first of those games will come next Thursday, November 29 at Pikeville. That following Saturday, they will travel to UVA-Wise.
The Bears will return to their home court on Dec. 8 for a non-conference meeting with Marian.