The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 22, 2014

Payne’s career-high output paces Rio Grande women

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Alexis Payne’s career-high 22 points led five University of Rio Grande players in double figures as the RedStorm cruised to a 95-71 Mid-South Conference victory over St. Catharine College Thursday.

Rio Grande, which led from start to finish, improved to 14-4 overall and 3-3 in the MSC with the victory.

“We started out very sloppy and struggled early,” said Rio Grande head coach David Smalley. “You have to give credit to St. Catharine, because they are not an easy team to guard.”

Rio Grande used an 18-6 run in the first half to create a 24-12 advantage, and the lead had reached 43-30 at the intermission.

A 3-pointer from Kaylyn Gambill helped Rio open up the second half with a 14-8 run and expand its lead to 60-38.

The second half belonged to the duo of Payne, a freshman from Deep Water, and sophomore forward Harley Adler, of Burton, Ohio, who combined for 26 points in the half and dominated the paint on both ends of the floor.

“Once we get Alexis Payne in full shape and she can put together 30 minutes a night, we are going to see consistent double-doubles from her,” Smalley said. “Harley Adler came off the bench and, while we were having trouble exploiting their zone, hit some shots and drew that zone out to where we were able to finally feed it inside effectively.”

Separate spurts of 8-0 and 6-0 for Rio Grande helped produce the RedStorm’s largest lead of the night, 89-63, with just over three minutes left, before the hosts settled on the 24-point margin of victory.

Payne completed her second double-double of the season by collecting a team-leading 12 rebounds to go along with her 22 points. Adler had a career-high 16 points and seven rebounds.

(This article was supplied by the Rio Grande Sports Information Office.)