Robert Morris captures first three-game winning streak in Horizon League play


Sol Castro goes up for a contested shot in RMU’s 63-54 win over Wright State. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

Kevin Plowcha

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (12-12, 10-9 Horizon League) took on the Wright State Raiders (3-20, 2-16) Friday night at the UPMC Events Center.

The Colonials were looking for their third straight victory for the first time this season.

RMU dug themselves a hole almost immediately, as Wright State jumped out to a seven-point lead just over three minutes into the game, forcing RMU to use a timeout early on.

Jada Roberson had six of the first nine points for the Raiders.

Scott Schneider made an early lineup change, taking out four of the starting five after the timeout.

That change appeared to have worked, as the Colonials went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to three.

Both teams traded baskets before Wright State made a jumper just before the end of the quarter, giving the Raiders a five-point lead after ten minutes of play.

To start the second frame, RMU couldn’t find the bottom of the net, as they had a scoring drought of nearly five minutes spanning back to the first quarter.

This allowed Wright State to take a nine-point lead before RMU went on a 5-0 run, cutting the deficit to four.

Both teams exchanged buckets before Sol Castro got a steal and easy layup, cutting the deficit to two.

Trading buckets was the theme of the second quarter as both teams did so again before K.K. White made a three-pointer, extending the Raiders’ lead to five with just under two minutes left before the half.

A pair of free throws by Phoenix Gedeon cut RMU’s deficit to three.

Jada Wright of Wright State was assessed a technical foul right before the half, giving Nina Augustin two free throws and giving the Colonials the ball.

Augustin made both free throws, and RMU used that possession to make a layup, as Natalie Villaflor cashed in, giving them a one-point lead at halftime.

To begin the 2nd half, Robert Morris came out firing, as they put up a 7-0 run spanning the first four minutes, giving them an eight-point lead, their largest of the night.

Schneider spoke about his message to the Colonials at the half.

“The message was to dial into each other,” Schneider said. “Defense was going to be what won us the game, and we came out in the 3rd quarter and set the tone with our defense.”

Wright State had three turnovers during this same stretch. Turnovers were a problem for the Raiders, as they had 17 compared to RMU’s 8.

Midway through the third quarter, the Colonials still held an eight-point lead.

An 11-2 run from RMU gave the Colonials a 17 point lead with just under a minute left in the 3rd quarter.

Wright State made a pair of free throws before the end of the quarter but RMU still led by fifteen points.

The Raiders didn’t give up, though, as two and-ones on back-to-back possessions cut RMU’s lead from 15 to nine.

Three and-ones on Wright State’s first four possessions of the fourth quarter helped spark a 12-3 run by the Raiders, cutting RMU’s 15-point lead to just six.

That six-point lead was cut to four on a K.K. White layup, forcing Scott Schneider to call timeout with just under six minutes left.

RMU responded, going on a 5-0 run to re-extend their lead to nine.

Wright State wouldn’t go away, however. They cut the deficit to six thanks to Jada Roberson, who finished with 27 points for the Raiders.

The Colonials were able to make their free throws when it mattered and ultimately get the victory over Wright State 63-54.

RMU has now won three straight games, which is a first for the Colonials this season.

Scott Schneider talked about how it felt to win three in a row.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “We’re building towards what we were in the NEC. It’s something we take a lot of pride in and is the rich tradition that we’ve built while we’ve been here.”

A big reason RMU hung on was Sol Castro, who finished with 15 points, leading the Colonials in scoring.

Scott Schneider talked about Castro’s play during the three-game win streak.

“Sol’s really focusing on doing the little things well,” Schneider said. “She played focused for tonight’s entire game on doing the little things well and not forcing action.”

RMU will finish their final homestand of the season with a Sunday matinee as they take on Northern Kentucky at 1 p.m. at the UPMC Events Center.