RIO GRANDE – Elisha Boone had a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead West Virginia University-Tech past the University of Rio Grande, 82-69, in River States Conference men’s basketball action, Saturday afternoon, at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Michael Scott added 15 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort for the 25th-ranked Golden Bears (13-5, 6-1 RSC), who won for the fourth straight time and the ninth time in their last 10 outings.
Rio Grande suffered its third straight loss, dropping to 5-14 overall and 2-5 in league play.
Tech opened up a 13-point lead, 39-26, after a three-pointer by Scott with 3:11 left in the first half, but the RedStorm closed the gap to just four on two occasions inside the first 3-1/2 minutes of the second stanza.
However, a 13-4 run by the Golden Bears built the lead back to 13 points, 60-47, following a three-pointer by Junior Arrey with 12:27 remaining in the game.
Rio junior Will Hill (Worthington) connected on a trifecta of his own just over a minute later to get the RedStorm back within 10, but they would get no closer the rest of the way.
Tech scored 13 of the game’s next 15 points and grabbed its largest advantage of the contest at 21 points, 73-52, after a layup by Cole Schoolcraft with 6:47 left to play.
The Golden Bears finished the game shooting 56.4 percent from the floor (31-for-55) after going 16-for-26 (61.5%) in the first half.
Rio Grande shot just 34 percent (11-for-32) in the second half and was outrebounded, 39-28, for the game.
Hill had 23 points, three assists and three steals to pace the RedStorm, while senior Corey Cruse (Fort Mitchell, KY) and freshman Stanley Christian (Norfolk, Va.) finished with 21 and 11 points, respectively.
Cruse was honored in pre-game ceremonies as the recipient of the 8th Annual Corey Taylor Heart & Hustle Award, named in honor of the former Rio junior varsity player who was killed in an automobile accident on Christmas Day 2008.
Senior Josh Thompson (Bronx, Ny.) led the RedStorm with five rebounds.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday night, traveling to Alice Lloyd College. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center in Pippa Passes, Ky.