Big athletic weekend planned at Rio Grande

Published 1:31 am Friday, November 15, 2013

Rio Grande Sports Information


RIO GRANDE — The biggest weekend of the year — athletics-wise — on the University of Rio Grande campus is scheduled for Friday and Saturday with the 31st Annual Bevo Francis Invitational Tournament at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The University of Rio Grande men’s and women’s basketball squads will play host to six other visiting schools for Homecoming and Hall of Fame weekend. Cincinnati Christian University, the University of Cincinnati-Clermont and Ohio University-Chillicothe join the host RedStorm in the men’s bracket, while the women’s division also includes Midway (Ky.) College, Ohio University-Lancaster and West Virginia University-Tech.

Game times are set for 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, while Saturday’s contests are slated for 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Rio Grande’s team will play back-to-back in the final two games of each day.

The weekend’s festivities also include the annual Homecoming parade on Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m., as well as the introduction of Shane Spies and Whitney Smith, Rio’s Athletes of the Year for the school year 2012-13, between the final two games of the day on Friday, at approximately 7:45 p.m.

Following the introduction of Spies and Smith, there will also be a check presentation made to Francis for the proceeds from last weekend’s 2nd Annual Bevo Walk for Cancer to aid in the research of esophageal cancer by the event’s organizers, Rio Grande students Gwendolyn Rose and Shelby Bechtold.

On Saturday, the latest inductees to the Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame — Bernie Bickerstaff, Steven Kehoe, Jenny Olding and Matt Powell — will be introduced between the conclusion of the Rio women’s game and the start of the Rio men’s game. Bickerstaff and Kehoe will not be in attendance, but Olding and Powell are expected to be on hand.

The crowing of the Homecoming King and Queen will take place at halftime of Saturday’s men’s game and the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Davis University Center, with social time getting underway at 6:30 p.m.

As for the action on the court itself, play gets underway on Friday at 2 p.m. with West Virginia Tech squaring off against Midway College in a women’s division game.

WVU Tech enters the contest having dropped their first four games of the young season, including a 90-76 setback at home on Monday night at the hands of Seton Hill.

Junior guard Nia Nolan leads the Bears with 13.5 points per contest, while Cheyanna Lusk has pulled down nearly eight rebounds in each of the first four games.

Midway College (0-1) will enter the game 10 days removed from their only game of the year thus far – a 126-62 setback against Campbellsville University.

The second game of the opening day will be of the men’s variety with Cincinnati Christian taking on Ohio University-Chillicothe at 4 p.m.

Cincinnati Christian already has four games under the belt this season and has split the quartet of games. Last Saturday, the Eagles suffered an 80-77 loss to NCAA Division II University of Indianapolis.

CCU is led by the duo of Kenny Gaynor and Michael Hill, who are averaging 19 and 17 points per contest, respectively. Gaynor and Hill are also one and two on the team in rebounding with 7.5 and 5.3 rebounds per game, respectively.

OU-Chillicothe comes into the weekend with an 0-1 record after falling to Cedarville University’s junior varsity squad on November 6.

Among the returning players for head coach Rick Uhrig’s Hilltoppers are 6-4 forward Antwaun McDaniel and 5-10 guard Layton Martin.

The Rio Grande women take to the court next when they entertain Ohio University-Lancaster at 6 p.m.

The RedStorm are off to a hot 3-0 start thus far in the young campaign, scoring no less that 96 points int their opening three games.

Sophomore forward Sarah Bonar (Hartford, OH) is second in the nation in scoring (26.3 points per game) and also leads Rio Grande with 11 boards a contest. Junior guard Brianna Thomas (Maplewood, NJ) has paced the RedStorm passing attack with nearly seven assists per game to go along with her 19-point average.

Rio Grande continues to lead the nation in both scoring offense (112 points per game) and assists per game (23).

OU-Lancaster enters the contest with an 1-3 record on the season and Paige Stought leading the way statistically with just over 26 points per contest.

The RedStorm men will conclude Friday’s games with an 8 p.m. matchup against the University of Cincinnati-Clermont.

Head coach Ken French’s Rio Grande squad is off to a 2-0 start on the season with its most recent contest being an 119-77 exhibition game loss on Tuesday night in Huntington, W.Va, to the Thundering Herd of NCAA Division I Marshall University.

Sophomore guard Phillip Hertz (Rungsted Kyst, Denmark) has done the majority of the scoring for the RedStorm thus far with a Mid-South Conference-leading 24 points per contest, while freshman forward Jalen Harris (Winchester, VA) has pulled down 17 rebounds in his first two collegiate games to grab the team lead in that category.

The Cougars of UC-Clermont are 1-1 on the season and are coming off an 87-74 loss to Milligan last Friday.

Saturday’s action will begin early with OU-Lancaster facing either WVU Tech or Midway at 11 a.m. in women’s play, while UC-Clermont will then take on either Cincinnati Christian or OU-Chillicothe in men’s action at 1 p.m.

The Rio women and men will conclude the tournament with Saturday tipoffs of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

Live video and play-by-play of all eight games of the tourney can be seen on with pregame for the Rio Grande games begining approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tipoff.