Colonials Dominate From Start to Finish, Move to 3-0 After Win Over D-3 Waynesburg


Malena Kaniuff

Phoenix Gedeon had 18 points in the 95-39 victory over Waynesburg

Kevin Plowcha

MOON TOWNSHIP — After a late run let the Robert Morris women’s basketball team slip past George Mason, the Colonials were adamant about making sure that did not happen again, taking down Division III opponent Waynesburg by a score of 95-39.

Despite a quick turnaround after that close win on Thursday night, head coach Charlie Buscaglia praised how his team came out of the gates in their second game in three days.

“There were some challenges involved in this game to get ready and get ready quick,” Buscaglia said. “I was proud of the team for coming out and getting after it and setting the tone like we did.”

The most obvious difference in teams was the size, as Waynesburg had no players taller than 5’11.

The Colonials took advantage of this immediately and constantly put pressure on the Yellow Jackets near the basket, scoring 60 of their 95 points in the paint.

Even with the size differential, Buscaglia did not see tonight’s glass-attacking game plan as unorthodox.

Paris Kirk led the team in points with 19 in the 95-39 victory of Division III Waynesburg (Photo by Malena Kaniuff)

“We do play with bigs, even when we play against teams that match up with us in size,” Buscaglia said. “We have legitimate post players, which is not so common anymore at the Division I level… We usually have two posts on the court most of the time… I was really happy to see our style of basketball work out so well there.”

With the Robert Morris lead being large for most of the game, head coach Charlie Buscaglia was able to get some players more minutes. Nine of the ten Colonials that saw action played 17 or more minutes.

Buscaglia spoke on the positive effect of having the opportunity to get more players some extra playing time.

“It was nice to get everybody involved,” Buscaglia said. “We were able to get some minutes to some young ones that could really use those minutes. They’re showing us a lot in practice but haven’t got the opportunity to get out there for that extended period of time. I was very proud of how they performed.”

One player who got some extra minutes was freshman forward Paris Kirk who played 20 minutes and led all scorers with 19 points.

Kirk was closely followed by Phoenix Gedeon who finished with a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds), and Danielle Vuletich who scored a career-high 15 points.

Kirk spoke postgame about the hot start to the season and how the team’s early-season work has translated to the court.

“It’s really nice to see how our work has paid off,” Kirk said. “Being able to have good chemistry with each other, getting turnovers, and pushing the ball feels really exciting.”

Kirk would go on to explain the comfort of transitioning work from practice to a game.

“We all work really hard in practice,” Kirk said. “So, the environment switch isn’t too much. Being pushed in practice makes it easier to transition work to the court.”

The Colonials’ defense shined once again, limiting Waynesburg with their speed and ability to force turnovers. RMU finished with 19 total steals and won the turnover battle 37 to 10.

After attempting just four free throws in the season opener, and shooting just 60 percent from the free throw line on Thursday, Robert Morris finished 27 for 35 from the line against Waynesburg, improving both their percentage and number of attempts.

Buscaglia praised his team for the effort which allowed more free throw opportunities and explained his heavy focus on free throws both in practice and in games.

“Getting to the line 35 times is something I’m more focused on rather than our four attempts against St. Francis (PA),” Buscaglia said. “I thought we brought it to the basket harder, took on contact more, and I was really happy to see some of the freshmen go after it. Making our free throws is important… We’re very big into the free throw and the routines… Getting to the line more like we did tonight is a plus.”

One area in which the Colonials struggled was from three-point range, shooting just 2-of-16 (12.5%) from beyond the arc.

Buscaglia explained how his team could improve in that aspect both on and off the court.

“I’m a big proponent of getting in the gym and continuing to take more,” Buscaglia said. “Larry Bird used to have the maintenance open the arena for him to shoot himself out of his slumps. That’s how I feel you should be. When you’re in the middle of a game, though, and you’re getting that look, I’m not one to say ‘Don’t take that shot when you’re open.'”

For the Yellow Jackets, Clara-Paige Miller was the leading scorer, finishing with 15 points on 5 for 5 shooting.

The Colonials will complete their season-opening four-game homestand Monday night against Wheeling University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.