Women’s basketball prepares for Northeast Conference action

Photo by Matthew Polaski

By Jonathan Fisher, Staff Writer

  The Robert Morris women’s basketball team had themselves a great Thanksgiving holiday, taking two out of three all on the road. First was a contest against Stony Brook (1-3), which saw Robert Morris (3-1) fall 42-40 in a defensive struggle.

  Even though the Colonials had the advantage in the rebound column, their shooting strike was not there, unlike the first three games of the season. Head coach Sal Buscaglia commented on the game saying, the focus wasn’t there.

   “We didn’t shoot the ball very well [against Stony Brook]. We have to learn how to play on the road. We did not rise to the occasion in the first road game. Even though, we out-rebounded them, we also turned the ball over too many times,” said Buscaglia.

  Buscaglia continued, “I think the Stony Brook game sent a message to us. When you are on the road, you need to focus even more and come into the game and play for 40 minutes.”

  Buscaglia noted that road losses are better done early. “If we are going to have a bad road loss, I’m glad it came early and the team bounced back very well. Focus was definitely there,” said the veteran coach.

  The best way to bounce back from a loss is to win a tournament. Easier said than done, but the Colonials did just that.

  Sophomore guard Artemis Spanou, led her team to victory at the ECU Thanksgiving Tournament by defeating Elon 69-65 and Delaware State 75-67.

  Spanou collected 20 points and seven rebounds against Elon, while scoring 20 points and nine rebounds against the Hornets.

  However, she was not the only key component to those victories; as sophomore guard Kelly Hartwell scored 20 points off of the bench in 33 minutes of playing time. Robert Morris found their scoring touch, hitting half of their shots from the field against Delaware State.

  The Thanksgiving break came and ended, now the true test lies ahead for the Colonials. They are set to take on Monmouth on Friday to open up Northeast Conference play.

  “We’re playing Monmouth on Friday, which we lost last year in the semifinal. It’s going to be a hard game. Teamwork is definitely better and we have three days to prepare,” said Spanou on playing Monmouth.

  Ending last season in the top four in the NEC is quite a feat. Although, the team they play on Friday, also ended their run through the conference tournament last year, by only three points in the semifinal: 65-62.

  “Monmouth is a very good team and a lot of players are back from last year. Understanding the road games and conference road games focuses must equate,” said coach Buscaglia.

Buscaglia continued to stress how important the first conference game is.

  “The first conference game is much more important than the first road game. I think it’s important to set the tone early against one of the top teams in the conference.”