Rebounding woes plague Robert Morris in last home game of regular season


Simone Morris takes a shot over Northern Kentucky’s Lindsey Duvall in the team’s 64-49 loss on senior day. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

Aiden Dine

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (12-13, 10-10 Horizon) came off of its first three-game win streak of the season looking to extend their win streak to four against the Northern Kentucky Norse (18-7, 12-6).

RMU kicked off the day honoring the team’s seniors to celebrate Senior Day. The Norse were just too much for the Colonials in this one, falling 64-49 in the Sunday matinee.

The team honored Sydney Palermo, Natalie Villaflor, Esther Castedo and Nina Augustin during pregame festivities.

Castedo and Villaflor both have COVID years due to the 2020-21 season and could return next season for the Colonials.

In his presser when speaking about his seniors, Schneider spoke highly of the group.

“The seniors have been amazing. They have had amazing careers here each in their own way,” Schneider said. “They’ve been spectacular as players and as people. This year, we’ve had eight newcomers come into this group and [the seniors] remained steady the whole way through. It’s going to be a tough day when they take off their jersey for their last game.”

The Colonials got off to a slow start. The team fell into a 10-0 hole with 7:57 left in the first quarter and Schneider called a timeout at that point.

Afterward, the team allowed five more points before Nina Augustin woke the offense up with two baskets and an assist on a three-pointer for Esther Castedo, cutting the lead to 10 after NKU scored another basket in between two Augustin buckets.

After both teams traded a few stops, Simone Morris knocked down a step-back mid-range jumper to make it 17-9.

This score was then matched by Emmy Souder to keep it a 10 point lead for the Norse. The two teams would match one more possession and go scoreless the rest of the quarter.

After one basket from NKU to open the second quarter, RMU posted a 6-0 run which brought them right back into the game and made it a six-point game.

The Colonials defense was much more stout in the second quarter, allowing only two points until the 5:23 mark. After a couple of Lindsey Duvall free throws, the score halfway through the quarter was 25-17.

Out of the media timeout, both teams came up empty on their first four possessions until Duvall hit a three, which was answered by Castedo.

Duvall notched another two points on a fast break layup shortly after to give NKU a 30-20 advantage at halftime.

To open the second half, NKU’s Khamari Mitchell-Steen hit a three-point jumper, and then both teams had several empty possessions up until about two minutes into the second half when a timeout was called by NKU.

A backdoor cut by Duvall for a layup gave them a 15-point lead over the Colonials. Nina Augustin opened up the scoring in the second half for the Colonials with two free throws.

After the two free throws, the teams traded two two-pointers. Next, NKU went on a short 4-0 run to give them a 17-point advantage at the media timeout.

Afterward, Phoenix Gedeon knocked down two free throws and then hit a spinning layup for another two points.

In the fourth quarter, the Colonials started by allowing an and-one layup to Souder which she converted to make it a 21-point contest. RMU started the quarter with two turnovers and two baskets allowed. This prompted Schneider to make several substitutions.

Soon after these subs were made, RMU went on a six-point run and make it 56-39 before the media timeout.

Following the timeout, RMU struck first with a Castro layup in the post. Both teams got stops and then Mitchell-Steen ran the floor for a layup. Castedo hit a three from the top of the key after the layup to cut the deficit to 14.

After the three, Nina Augustin fouled out of her last home game with 3:32 left. Duvall made both free throws and made the score 60-44.

Multiple back-and-forth stops saw Duvall draw another foul, this time on Villaflor and knocked down another two. Right after Duvall’s free throws, Mackenzie Amalia hit one more three for RMU and then both teams traded layups.

The Norse dribbled out the rest of the clock, escaping their first appearance in Moon Township since 2015 with a 64-49 win.

RMU struggled all game to get rebounds, losing the rebound battle 38 to 22. With not a lot of other statistics standing out in NKU’s favor, this served as the main factor as to why the Colonials lost.

Schnider spoke on the team’s rebounding effort after the game.

“We always focus on rebounding, that’s our measure of how tough we are. We always say there’s no hiding in rebounds,” he said. “To get outrebounded like that today was disappointing.”

Robert Morris ends the regular season on the road when they take on UIC on Thursday and conference-leading IUPUI on Saturday.