PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Diane Abbady fueled a 15-2 second half run which allowed second-ranked Shawnee State University to pull away for good and post a 76-61 over the University of Rio Grande, Tuesday night, in Mid-South Conference women’s basketball action at the Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium.
The Bears improved to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in the MSC with the win, rebounding from a loss to Cumberland (TN) University on Saturday.
Rio Grande slipped to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in league play with a third straight loss.
The RedStorm hit just five of their 33 first half field goal attempts (15.2 percent) and trailed by as many as 21 points before settling on a 39-22 deficit at the intermission.
Shawnee’s lead stood at 18 points, 45-27, when Rio Grande embarked on an 11-1 deficit which closed the gap to 46-38 following a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Janie Morris.
That’s when Abbady, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, went to work.
Abbady, who was inserted into the lineup when starting center Schera Sampson picked up three fouls during Rio’s comeback run, scored eight straight points of her own to extend the Bears lead to 16 points, 54-38, before capping the scoring spurt by hitting one of two free throw tries to make it 61-40 with 8:20 left in the game.
Shawnee’s biggest lead of the night came two minutes later when a three-pointer by Allanah Sheets made it 67-45 and the RedStorm got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Alex Pohl led Shawnee’s winning effort with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Sampson and Abbady finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Sheets added 10 points, six assists and three steals.
Freshman forward Sarah Bonar had a game-high 21 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead a trio of double-digit scorers for Rio Grande. Junior forward Kate Hammond finished with 12 points, while senior guard Shardai Morrison-Fountain added 10 points, four assists and six steals.
The two teams combined for 55 turnovers — 28 against Rio Grande and 27 against the Bears — in addition to 47 personal fouls which, in turn, produced 58 combined free throw attempts.
Rio connected on 14-of-32 second half shots (43.8 percent) to finish 19-for-65 in the game (29.2 percent).
The RedStorm will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 29, traveling to Wise, Va. to face the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in another Mid-South Conference contest.