RedStorm men can't solve Pikeville College
February 18, 2011By Mark Williams of University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande --- The depleted University of Rio Grande RedStorm men's basketball team just could not hang with a very talented Pikeville College team on Thursday night at the Newt Oliver Arena in Mid-South Conference action. Rio lost 87-72.
Rio Grande (5-22, 0-15 MSC) was able to only suit up 10 players as senior guard Doug Campbell (Salisbury, NC) was out due to illness, reserve guard Florian Schneider (Samswegan, Germany) was unable to dress and senior forward Wendell Bates, Jr. (Akron, OH) was limited due to a nagging injury.
Despite being short-handed, Rio Grande once again put up a great fight, but it wasn't enough. Rio jumped out to an 8-2 lead, only to see it erased as Pikeville College (22-6, 11-5 MSC) answered with six quick points. Rio would get the lead back to 15-10, but once Pikeville went ahead at 20-19 it was never headed again.
The game was tied one more time at 27-27 and the Bears then put it away with a 9-0 burst to make the score, 36-27.
Sophomore forward Dani Marti (Valencia, Spain), who is playing well at this juncture, produced a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds to pace the RedStorm attack. Junior guard Brad Cubbie (Dayton, OH) added 10 points and handed out eight assists and sophomore guard Kaleb Kimber (Salisbury, NC) chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Pikeville placed four players in double figures led by Vance Cooksey with 23 points. Cooksey did a variety of damage as he dished out seven assists and recorded six steals as well. Justin Hicks added 17 points while Trevor Setty scored 16 points and Quincy Hankins-Cole chipped in 10 to go along with seven rebounds.
Rio shot the ball relatively well, connecting on 28-of-65 (43.1 percent) from the field and 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from three-point land.
Pikeville blistered the nets at a 52.7 percent (29-of-55) clip, which included making 12-of-25 (48 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.
Pikeville would win the rebounding battle as well, 39-31.
Pikeville gets the season sweep of Rio Grande with the victory. The Bears defeated Rio Grande, 95-72 in Pikeville, January 13.
"I thought our effort was good, being that we were short-handed," said Rio Grande head coach Ken French. "We didn't have senior guard Doug Campbell, he was sick and hopefully we'll get him back for Saturday and Wendell Bates, we get seven minutes out of him and it was a tough seven, his ankle is still bothering him and we were short on our bench, we didn't have Florian Schneider and we've got guys sick and we only had 10 guys dress for the game and it showed at times, but there were stretches where we played really well."
"(Pikeville) has more depth and they wore us down a little bit and that hurt us," French added. "I thought our game-plan was good, I thought we executed the game-plan pretty well. There were a couple of phases in the game that they sped us a little bit and that hurt us and they were able to stretch out the lead, especially coming out of the half."
Rio Grande will host UVA-Wise on Saturday in the regular season home finale. Rio lost to UVA-Wise, 97-81 in the match-up earlier this season on the road.
Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. It will be an emotion-filled day as the RedStorm will bid farewell to six seniors. A live video stream of the game can be seen on iHigh.com.