RMU earns share of first place in NEC

Photo+credit%3A+Morgan+Torchia

Photo credit: Morgan Torchia

By Samuel Anthony

Consistency seems to be the enemy of this RMU team the past few games and it continued its trend in today’s matchup as the Colonials as Robert Morris started off going 3-for-14 from the field including missing all five of their three-pointers attempted in the game’s first stanza.

The most consistent player of the first half was Mikalah Mulrain, the senior helped give the Colonials some key second-chance opportunities with her four offensive rebounds in the first half. Her eight points also led the team in the first half.

“When we miss a shot she’s really getting in there,” said RMU head coach Charlie Buscaglia “Saying I’m never gonna settle for everything’s a make saying I’m gonna plan for everything to come off. She had great instincts to go up and get the ball,”

Mulrain would finish with 9 rebounds on the day.

After trailing 14-8 at the end of the first, RMU carried a delicate 24-22 lead going into the third quarter. Their performance in the second quarter was strong but they would need to continue this into the second half if they hoped to keep their chances of winning the conference alive.

Around the NEC, things were falling into place for the Colonials. The Bryant Bulldogs held a 12-point lead over St. Francis Brooklyn and Sacred Heart were holding a 9-point lead over FDU. If these results held, Robert Morris would earn their second straight NEC regular-season title.

It was Megan Callahan who came out in the third quarter and put on a beautiful combination of hustle and fundamental basketball to give RMU a spark right out of the gate.

Callahan started with deja vu moment from this past Friday, once again hitting a three-point shot to start the half. But she continued with her ability to drive to the basket and hustle right back down the court to be part of one of the top 10 most efficient defenses in the nation.

“Just being able to share the ball and move the ball is important. If I get the look then I get the look. But if my teammate gets the looked my teammate gets the look” said Callahan.

To nobody’s surprise, the Robert Morris defense continued to play strong and as the third quarter moved along, the offense for the Colonials began to sputter. That was until Jocelynne Jones used her shutdown defense to create the biggest lead of the game for RMU.

Jones was used her quickness to earn a steal on an inbound, turning into an easy basket for Nadege Pluviose while applying on-ball pressure to force players like Mount’s Juliette Lawless into her game-high 6th turnover of the night.

“When you see Joce doing that stuff it’s pretty inspiring. She played with a lot of passion today and whether she knocked all her shots down,” said Buscaglia.

“Just the little things she does brings a lot of energy to our team,” said Mikalah Mulrain “Her steals, her blocks, her ability, just her athleticism itself really boosts the team up,”

Nadege Pluviose was making the most of her time on the floor in just 12 minutes of play through three quarters, Pluviose racked up 9 points, 4 rebounds and an assist playing as one of the most efficient players on the court for RMU.

From there, RMU took control of the game carrying a 45-30 lead at the end of the third quarter. But it was St. Francis Brooklyn who would regain the lead against the Bryant Bulldogs at the end of their three quarters, If RMU wanted to win the conference, they would need help from the Bulldogs.

The Mountaineers would push for a late rally but ultimately the Colonials were too far ahead. The game would end with a final score of 66-54.

The Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn would end up defeating the Bryant Bulldogs which meant that while both Saint Francis(PA) and Robert Morris would hold a share of the NEC Title, it would come down to where each team ranked based upon RPI on Monday to determine who will earn the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament starting Wednesday.