Robert Morris rolls past Morehead State in Thanksgiving Eve tilt


Robert Morris guard Natalie Villaflor nails a three-point shot in Colonials 69-45 win over Morehead State Wednesday afternoon. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

Ethan Morrison

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (2-3, 1-1 Horizon) resumed their non-conference slate this afternoon as they took on Morehead State (1-3) after splitting their first two Horizon League games of the season.

The Colonials dominated the Eagles down the stretch after a slow start defeating Morehead State by a score of 69-45 Wednesday afternoon.

Early on, both teams struggled from the field as Robert Morris went 2-for-10 and Morehead state was 2-for-7. By the first media timeout, Robert Morris led by just one point off of an Ashya Klopfenstein layup.

Head coach Charlie Buscaglia spoke on the team’s slow start.

“We weren’t able to get the ball in the basket early, but we were grinding hard defensively and when you continue to grind hard on defense and continue to be accountable things are going to start happening,” he said. “You are going to be able to start to open the game up a little bit and you’re going to get more push opportunities and we started finding our flow much better.”

The Colonials did just that as Mackenzie Amalia and Alejandra Mastral both nailed shots from beyond the arc right out of the media timeout as RMU sprinted out to an 8-0 run to end the quarter.

In the second, both teams started trading buckets left and right, but Robert Morris held their own and led 22-11 at the under-five media timeout in the second quarter.

As the half winded down, the Colonials continued their pressure on the defensive end, not allowing a Morehead state bucket in four minutes. That allowed the Robert Morris offense to distance themselves from the Eagles as some slick play from the forwards and another Amalia three-point jumper as time expired to put the Colonials up 18 at the half.

Buscaglia spoke on what adjustments were made to help propel Robert Morris ahead in the second quarter.

“We started to play freer and started to run our offense and if we had an opportunity to play fast early on we played fast,” Buscaglia said. “If they started to slow us down we started executing well, cutting well, passing the ball well, sometimes there were some fundamental passes but for the most part we were able to control the pace and that’s important for us.”

After shooting under 30-percent from the field midway through the first quarter, Robert Morris improved their shooting heading into the half shooting the ball at a 40-percent clip from the field.

Things didn’t get any easier for the Eagles in the second quarter as they shot just 26-percent in the first half.

The Colonials carried over their dominance early in the second half as they kicked off the third quarter with a bang. Esther Castedo made a layup in transition and that was then followed by a Sol Castro bucket in the paint. That would force Morehead State to call their first timeout of the game.

Castro expressed praise for her team’s execution following the game.

“At first, it wasn’t our best game but as coach said we were getting there for the rebounds we were hustling and have that mentality of every 50/50 ball is ours,” Castro said. “I felt like we could build a good culture there and start making buckets and continue to go there all game.”

Morehead State continued to struggle from the field for most of the third quarter until they started to hit some of their shots from down low, but even that wasn’t enough to chip into the Colonials lead as Robert Morris led by 27 at the end of the quarter.

RMU continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter as they led by as much as 30 as the minutes winded down.

Overall, the Colonials shot the ball at a 42-percent clip from the field and 25-percent from beyond the arc. Morehead State shot 35-percent from the field and 24-percent from three-point range.

Freshman forward Phoenix Gedeon led the Colonials in scoring and rebounding, notching 12 points and six boards.

RMU women’s basketball hits the hardwood once again on Saturday as they hit the road and travel up north as they take on Canisius at 7:00 p.m.