Colonials crumble after hot start


Esther Castedo drives to the hoop. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

By Michael Deemer, Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP– Green Bay (4-3, 2-1 Horizon) was one of the few teams the Colonials women’s basketball team never played in the Horizon League, or in general, and tonight, in their first matchup, the Phoenix dominated the Colonials 63-44.

Robert Morris (3-4, 1-2) started on fire with five threes, beginning with a blazing 6-6 from the field. The UPMC Events Center was loud, and the Colonials looked like they could not miss and were in position to possibly run out of Clearview ‘Tees for Threes’.

Head coach Charlie Buscaglia was out with a non-COVID-related ailment tonight, so associate head coach Scott Schneider filled in.

“We told the team it was one of the best starts in the first 5 minutes of the game since I’ve been here,” Schneider said.”There was a lot of emotion [in the huddle]. I told them to keep believing in each other. We were more focused on the defensive end.”

After a brief lapse, the Phoenix began to be red hot shooting in the quarter as well. Green Bay went on a 14-2 run to end the quarter with a Maddy Schreiber three-pointer with 4 seconds before the buzzer sounded to complete a high-scoring 20-18 score at the end of 1.

“We started to press our shots a little and lost track of what got us those shots. Green Bay is a championship team, year in and year out in the Horizon League, and they proved why,” Schneider added. “They never seemed to buckle. They never seemed to lose their calm or cool.”

Everything that could’ve gone wrong for the Colonials went wrong in the second quarter. They only scored four points, allowed four offensive rebounds, and committed seven turnovers.

Green Bay would use that to their advantage and turn those mistakes into points with eight second-chance points and seven points off turnovers.

The tough sledding continued as the second half started. The Phoenix capitalized on rebounding and getting to the free-throw line. The Phoenix out-rebounded the Colonials 10-5 in the 3rd quarter and went a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe in those 10 minutes.

The Colonials failed to go to the line throughout the game, only shooting 50-percent throughout the 40 minutes. Schneider noted the lack of aggression from either side.

“I think Green Bay did a good job really cramming in the post, crunching in, and forcing us to make outside shots. We struggled to get it inside quick to go against those offensive zones.”

The game was over from there. The Phoenix were up 22 as things began to settle down. The 4th quarter was the only quarter where the Colonials outscored Green Bay, notching a 14-11 mark.

“I think we did progressively get better quarter by quarter but our offense. We were executing well it’s just thought we were executing well,” Schneider said. “We were creating what we were looking for. At the end of the day, the shots did not go down, and sometimes you start hot, and it all seems to go away. It’s a humble learning lesson for our team.”

Green Bay’s Cassie Schiltz led the way for the Phoenix with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Sydney Levy had 14.

The Colonials did not have a double-digit scorer. The team’s leading scorer, Esther Castedo, scored eight points with two three-point field goals in the losing effort.

The Colonials come back to the UPMC Events Center for a Saturday matinee to face the Panthers of Milwaukee for another conference showdown at 1 p.m.