Women’s basketball ready to tip off 2011-12 season

Photo by RMU Athletics

By Jonathan Fisher, Staff Writer

Coming off a successful season, the Robert Morris women’s basketball team’s 2011 debut is   right around the corner. With sophomore Artemis Spanou and senior Mary Durojaye leading the team, success can only be expected.
The past two seasons have been consistent and address the norm of Colonial basketball. In 2009/2010, they went 17-1 in the conference, ending in a regular season title and a Northeast Conference (NEC) semifinals departure.
Last season Spanou and company ended the season 12-6 in the conference, with a finale of a similar result of the season before; a semifinal loss to Long Island in the NEC tournament.

Alongside Spanou and Durojaye, was Yohanna Morton who lit up the scoreboard for 14.1 points per game. Upon graduation, she passed the proverbial torch to Spanou who was second in scoring with 13.1 points per game.

If the Colonials had a weak spot, their record in non-conference games hinders their potential post-season tournament chances. Last season, they went 4-8, while losing to competitive foes such as Florida, North Carolina and Kent State.

From weak spots to advantages, Robert Morris owns the meaning of “home-court advantage”. With a 8-4 record at home last season, seven of those wins came in conference play and two losses followed.

Head coach, Sal Buscaglia, noted, “Being on the road is really tough, because we are the farthest team from all the other teams. When you have to go to a game on a Friday night, have a game on Saturday and they have class on Monday, it’s difficult.”

“We really welcome more people to our games. Home-court advantage is nice and what we need is more people on board from the community and the students,” said Buscaglia.

Administration has always been of support with the women’s basketball program, but the focal point is the students.

It was announced in a media conference call yesterday that the Colonials were picked to finish second in the conference, and that Spanou made first-team all-conference preseason.

The Colonials open the season with three straight home games at the Sewall Center against Coppin State, then Kent State and Central Michigan.

In a nutshell, Buscaglia has optimistic views on the team’s success this season, even with a few injuries.

“I think we can be a good team and match what we achieved in the past. Jasmine Tate has a concussion and a return is still up in the air, Anna Kavasila should be back in the December.”

Two strong seasons in the NEC led to success and one national tournament appearance, Buscaglia noted. “We have six new players, so I’m confident that we can get to where we want to go. It will count on chemistry and staying healthy. If we can have those both in effect, I’m very confident.”