Navarro’s breakout game pushes Robert Morris past Sacred Heart

Rebeca Navarro posted a career-high 20 points Monday evening against Sacred Heart

Chris Bombardo

Rebeca Navarro posted a career-high 20 points Monday evening against Sacred Heart

Rebeca Navarro went into Robert Morris’ matchup with Sacred Heart averaging 4.5 points per game.

Her game did the talking Monday evening however, as she posted a career-high 20 points on a 6-of-7 shooting effort from long range, second-best in team history. The freshman provided much needed scoring assistance off the bench for the Colonials, who erased an early 12 point deficit to defeat Sacred Heart 90-66 at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

“It showed tonight that putting in the extra work is the best thing to hit big shots,” said Navarro. “I try to have a short memory. If I miss my first shot, I just try to keep shooting.”

The win improves Robert Morris to 14-9 overall and 10-2 in conference play, keeping a firm hold of first place among the NEC. They clinched a NEC tournament berth with the victory as well, making up for last year’s absence from the conference postseason.  

Associate head coach Charlie Buscaglia felt the team’s slow start helped the Colonials in the long run, forcing them to pick up their game once adversity struck.  

“The team played very hard,” said Buscaglia. “They got off to a slow start but I think that was good for us actually because it brought us back to reality to show that we would win this game by working hard.”

Artemis Spanou led the way as usual, posting 31 points , 13 rebounds and six assists, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. The Greece native has scored a total of 70 points in her last two appearances and is pacing the Colonials with their late-season run for a NEC title.

“We came out slow but we kept our cool,” said Spanou. “We were focused and said we needed to play defense. We were more intense and kept our head in the game to come back.”

Spanou had a high regard for Navarro’s play against the Pioneers, acknowledging the progress the freshman has made since her arrival in Moon Township.

 “I’m really proud of Rebeca,” said Spanou. “She’s been working hard. I know she had some off games but she came today in an important game and as a freshman made big shots for us.”

Navarro played a major role in the Colonials shooting 60% from beyond-the-arch, the second highest three-point percentage in team history.  

“She played great,” said Buscaglia. “I think it was an all-around performance. She always can shoot the ball, but even when she has a bad shooting night. She did other things; she had five assists and really defended well. When she’s hot, her shots are going to fall.”

The Colonials look next to a home matchup with Central Connecticut State on February 15th. Tip-off is set for 1PM.