Slow Start Plagues Robert Morris in Season Finale, Lose Back-to-Back Games


The loss drops the Colonials to the 10 seed and will face Milwaukee on the road on Tuesday Photo credit: Hope Beatty

Alec Miller

MOON TOWNSHIP – After a tough loss on Thursday against IUPUI, Robert Morris (11-18, 5-15 Horizon) looked for a bounce-back performance against Youngstown State (19-10, 13-7 Horizon) to end the season on a high note. The last time these two teams met the Colonials fell on the road. Tonight would be the same outcome for the Colonials as they fell by a score of 65-51.

Coming off of a road loss against IUPUI and having to play less than 48 hours later is never easy for players. So, getting in the right mindset to come out and compete is crucial for a player to be in the best possible place to come out and win. Coach Buscaglia could comment on the team’s mindset coming into this game.

“No excuses. That’s the hand that we were dealt. Going from (Indianapolis) back here we had to make some adjustments with our routine you know with a day between and getting back late like that. You got to handle it, quick turnarounds with travel is tough, but we are approaching march now and you have to embrace every challenge and not victimize yourself in this situation and do what you can to get ready.”

Going down early in a game has been a trend this season for the Colonials. Although they still have the hustle and drive to pick their head up and compete. After being down 19-5 in the first quarter and ultimately down 35-19 at the half, RMU battled back in the third to cut the lead to one point.

Simone Morris had 12 points in the 65-51 loss to Youngstown State Photo credit: Hope Beatty

“At halftime, we had a lot to talk about that we weren’t doing well. A lot of it just had to do with accountability on defense as far as missing assignment, not doing a good job in what we do all year long,” said Buscaglia. “It was really going to come down to how hard we play and mentally not taking breaks. In the beginning of the game, we were doing that constantly. At halftime, we talked about all the areas we were missing and then I saw a different team defensively. We were much more Robert Morris defense.”

A big key to Youngstown State’s success was the size for them down low. With 28 points in the paint for YSU, there was little stopping them inside.

“It was really (Lilly) Ritz I believe that was really was the size that really bothered us the most. She had 17 (points) and 15 (rebounds) and went 8-10 from the floor. We didn’t do a good job of obviously stopping her from doing what she does in a lot of parts of the game.”

One of the key factors for the Colonials tonight was the foul line. RMU shot 14-16 from the line, creating some success there. When the Colonials are at their best, they can drive the paint and get those “and-one” situations.

“We talk about it all the time. We do a lot of drills for it. You know it’s in the game plan,” said Buscaglia. “We know if we get to the basket and go up strong it’s going to be so beneficial for us just because so many opportunities we see where people back off of a chance to get in there and mix it up and go hard and finish, we’ve been working on it so the fact that we got some today had a lot to do with us being willing to go in there.”

Youngstown State seniors Lilly Ritz and Megan Callahan were the leading scorers in tonight’s matchup, with 17 points. Robert Morris had three players in double figures; Phoenix Gedeon (15). Simone Morris (12) and Danielle Vuletich (10).

The Colonials will open up Horizon League playoffs on the road at Milwaukee on Tuesday with a time still TBA.