RIO GRANDE, OH - Conor Mabry (JR/Lakewood, OH) came off the bench to score a season-high 29 points and lead Ohio Christian University to an 88-68 win over the University of Rio Grande, Tuesday night, in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Game of the Week.
Mabry connected on 10 of his 15 field goal attempts, including six of his seven tries from three-point range for the Trailblazers. Ohio Christian improved to 18-6 overall and 8-3 in the KIAC with their fifth straight win. Rio Grande, which lost for the fourth time in five outings on the heels of a nine-game winning streak, slipped to 15-8 overall and 5-4 in league play.
The RedStorm bolted to a 21-8 first half lead, but managed just six points over the final 9:08 of the opening stanza as OCU rallied to forge a 27-27 tie at halftime. Rio scored the first four points of the second half, but the Trailblazers responded with a 17-4 run in a span of just over 3-1/2 minutes and never trailed again. The RedStorm closed the deficit to 44-42 following a conventional three-point play by Travis Elliott with 13:48 remaining in the contest. Ohio Christian countered with a 23-2 spurt over the next five minutes to take their largest lead of the night, 67-44, following a Mabry three-pointer with 8:47 left in the game. Rio Grande got no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
The Trailblazers shot 64.7 percent from the field in the second half (22-for-34) and were 8-for-10 from three-point range after the break. In addition to Mabry's big night, OCU also got 25 points, a game-high six steals and a team-best five assists from Evin Bartlett (SR/Huber Heights, OH). Marquis Jackson (JR/Cleveland, OH) added 13 points and Gary Hoover (JR/Columbus, OH) had a game-high ten rebounds.
Rio Grande hit just one of its 12 three-point attempts, finished 15-for-23 at the free throw line and committed 22 turnovers in the loss. Dwayne Bazemore led the RedStorm with 23 points and eight rebounds, while D.D. Joiner had 15 points and a game-high six assists. Kevonta Black added 12 points and a team-high three steals in a losing cause.
Ohio Christian returns to action on Thursday night with a non-conference tilt at NAIA Division I Lindsey Wilson College.