RIO GRANDE, OH – The Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles traveled to Rio Grande, Ohio to battle nationally-ranked University of Rio Grande on Sunday, January 21st. In a tight contest between the two River States Conference divisional leaders, the Red Storm earned a come-from-behind, 78-71 victory.
The first period was all Rio as they rolled to a quick lead against the cold-shooting guests. The Red Storm extended their advantage to ten before a late hoop by Lady Eagle senior Miranda Wilson set the score 18-10 at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, Alice Lloyd started with a quick 6-0 burst to slice the score to 20-18, only to watch Rio answer with an 11-2 spurt to push their lead back up to eleven (31-20). The hosts would take a 37-29 lead into the locker room for intermission.
In the third stanza, ALC would come out with more fight and began to chip into the deficit. When freshman forward Shelby Davis drained a jumper at the 5:11 mark, she capped off a 14-5 blitz and gave the visitors their first lead of the night (43-42). The Lady Eagles didn’t stop there as they would take their largest lead (58-53) with 1:20 remaining after freshman center Alex Clifton drilled a jumper of her own. A late Red Storm bomb courtesy of guard Sydney Holden still left Alice Lloyd leading 58-56 at periods end.
In the last ten minutes, neither team refused to give an inch as overall first place positioning was on the line. ALC would tie the game for the last time at 67 apiece on a Clifton hoop with just 3:16 showing. On their next possession, the Lady Eagles defense would force a miss, but Rio Grande retrieved the offensive rebound and fed Holden who drilled a huge three-point bucket to give her club a lead they would not relinquish. Alice Lloyd freshman guard Haley Hall connected on a bucket to get ALC within one again, but the home club iced the contest by draining their free throws.
For Alice Lloyd (13-3; 7-2 RSC), Clifton led the way with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Hall added 16 of her own while senior guard Kayla Wilson finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
ALC shot just 36.6% (26-71) from the field and only 20% (5-25) from long range. They sank 70% (14-20) from the foul line. They also added 42 rebounds, 12 assists, and 7 steals.
Rio Grande (21-1; 9-0 RSC) winner of 19 consecutive games, should move up substantially from their No. 21 ranking in the latest NAIA Division II poll. They were led by Jasmine Smith and Holden with 18 and 16 points respectively. Their club finished shooting 35.8% (24-67) from the floor and 33.3% (4-12) from behind the arc. They won the game at the foul line, finishing at 73% (27-37). They also added 51 rebounds, 11 assists, and 9 steals.
ALC returns to conference action this week for 3 huge games at home. On Tuesday, January 23, they face West Virginia Tech University at 5:30 pm. They will follow that at home on Thursday, January 25 with a 5:30 pm matchup against Carlow University. Finally, they close out the week on Saturday, January 27 when they face Point Park University at 1:00 pm.