Preview: Women’s basketball hosts Bryant following convincing win on Saturday

Photo+Credit%3A+Thomas+Ognibene+

Photo Credit: Thomas Ognibene

By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP– After another dominating performance against an NEC opponent, the Robert Morris University women’s basketball team (14-6, 9-0 NEC) will host Bryant University (5-14, 3-5 NEC) Monday night inside the UPMC Events Center at 7:00 p.m. The Colonials will host another struggling team at the bottom of the standings with the chance to continue their reign of dominance and hold on to the top spot in the NEC.

Recapping RMU

RMU enters Monday night off of their ninth win in a row to begin conference play after they embarrassed Central Connecticut State University (2-19, 1-9 NEC) in the second half of their match-up on Saturday. RMU held the Blue Devils to 13 second-half points and only two total in the fourth quarter, an unheard-of accomplishment in any level of basketball.

The Colonials’ play on the offensive side is impressive, but the defense has been absolutely phenomenal this season. NEC teams are only shooting 34.1% against RMU while scoring 51.3 points per game, an almost 20 point differential from the Colonials’ 71 points per game.

These accomplishments continue to pad the stats for the Colonials and prove that they are going to be tough to beat in the NEC.

Scouting Bryant

The Bryant Bulldogs have struggled to find anything positive this season both in and out of conference competition. After finishing with a 9-9 NEC record in 2018-19, Bryant is only two losses away from reaching their total from a year ago.

The Bulldogs fell to St. Francis (9-12, 7-3 NEC), 64-58, Saturday afternoon and won’t have to travel far to face another tough opponent. Bryant shoots 36% from the field and 27.8% from three, average numbers for a struggling team only averaging 57.8 points per game. Free throw shooting has also been a struggle with the Bulldogs at a clip of 66.1% from the line.

A 3-7 team on the road, Bryant will have a tough test ahead of them once again to try and gain momentum in this difficult 2019-20 season.

Players to Watch

Isabella Posset (Robert Morris)

Sophomore guard Isabella Posset has been a versatile threat all season for the Colonials. Posset specializes in shooting the three-point ball and does it with consistent success, shooting 32.1% from behind the arc. She will be looked at as a key scoring threat on Monday, averaging a career-high 8.2 ppg this season.

Nina Augustin (Robert Morris)

Augustin has also recorded a phenomenal season for the Colonials in 2019-20. The junior guard, who was named to the All-NEC Tournament Team last season, leads the team with 3.3 assists per game and has also been strong on the defensive end.

Sydney Holloway (Bryant)

Senior guard/forward Sydney Holloway had led the way for the Bulldogs this season. She averages a team-high 10.1 ppg and 9.2 rebounds per game, only starting eight of the 17 games she has played. If Bryant is going to find a way to pull off the upset at the UPMC Events Center, Holloway needs to play a key role in the offensive and defensive attack.

Nicole Gallagher (Bryant)

Nicole Gallagher, one of three Bulldogs to start all 19 games this season, has been a consistent threat for Bryant in this disappointing season. Only a freshman, Gallagher is second on the team with 9.3 ppg and 30.7 minutes per game. Look for her to be a key contributor and leader for Bryant on Monday night.

Prediction

The Robert Morris Colonials and Bryant Bulldogs will battle it out on the hardwood Monday in a game that does not match-up well for the Bulldogs. RMU out-performs Bryant in multiple statistical categories and has consistently shut opponents down on the defensive end all season.

The defending conference champions should prove themselves once again as the NEC’s best team take care of business on Monday.

RMU 68-55