Scott Schneider signals for his team against Purdue Fort Wayne. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

Assistant coach Scott Schneider and the Colonials are stepping up in a big way

Scott Schneider and women's basketball are stepping up during Coach Buscaglia's absence.

January 2, 2022

It’s not easy stepping in as head coach in the middle of a season, and Robert Morris women’s basketball associate head coach Scott Schneider knows that.

Charlie Buscaglia, the Colonials’ sixth-year head coach, went on an unexpected medical leave which forced him to leave the team right around Thanksgiving, leaving RMU without their head coach.

Schneider stepped up in the role of the interim head coach and called the opportunity “a unique one” following the team’s recent win against Purdue Fort Wayne.

“It has been a unique experience, to be a head coach is a goal for a lot of assistant coaches, but it’s not the way that I would want to be a head coach.”

Since Schneider has stepped in as the head coach, the Colonials have rallied together for Coach Buscaglia. Schneider knows Coach B is watching the team closely in his absence.

“I want Coach B here, our players want Coach B here, he is here in spirit with us.”

Their record during his departure is 2-3, including two games getting canceled due to COVID-19 concerns in the program and a game at the tough Miami Hurricanes, which Schneider mentioned was not easy for the team.

“It was about the process to get here and that’s something that we talked about with the team,” Schneider said. “We took two weeks off and it took 4-5 days to get back in shape and a decent number of them were battling illness and we had to get them in shape and prepare them for two games in three days.”

The last two games were tough Horizon League games, facing off against previously 9-1 Cleveland State and a good shooting team in Purdue Fort Wayne.

Over the last couple of games for the Colonials, one aspect of their competition that has looked good is closing out games and defense.

During the last two contests, they have held their opponents to under 30-percent shooting and have played outstanding defense, holding their opponents under 60 points in both games, something they did just once in their previous three Horizon League games.

The Colonials held a red-hot Cleveland State team to just 55 points and held a great three-point shooting team in Purdue Fort Wayne to just 21-percent from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Esther Castedo has been at the center of all of it, averaging 14.5 points through these two important games.

“I think we’re getting to the next level where we know to close a game, when to step up and when the big moments are,” Castedo said. “We have a young team, and it’s a learning moment. I’m happy we pushed through it and found a way to win.”

The team has rallied around each other and is starting to look like a Colonials team that will look to make a statement in their second season in the Horizon League.

The team is rallying together and is becoming a unit for Coach Buscaglia. Scott Schneider and the Colonials team have come together to play the game of basketball and they will look to continue their great play against Northern Kentucky on the road on January 7.

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