Colonials upset Saint Francis (Pa) on Ravelli’s career high


Photo by Paul Wintruba

The RMU women’s basketball team defeated conferene foe Saint Francis (Pa) Monday night courtesy of Ashley Ravelli’s 22 point performance.

By Chris Mueller, Assistant Sports Editor

The Robert Morris University women’s basketball team shocked conference foe Saint Francis (Pa) on Monday night at the Charles L. Sewall center, defeating the Red Flash, 67-53, on a stellar performance from freshman guard Ashley Ravelli. The two-time Northeastern conference rookie-of-the-week netted a career high 22 points, including a 7-8 performance from the charity stripe, to capture the crucial conference win and keep them in the Northeast Conference playoff hunt.

“We were determined tonight,” said Ravelli, of her team’s inspired performance. “We had great energy in the beginning and just tried to keep going. After every layup or shot we missed, we just wanted to keep going and continue to play with energy.”

The 5-10 shooting guard, who played all 40 minutes, has been on a tear of late and is providing key production to a hurting Colonials squad that only has eight active players on the roster. Ravelli, a native of Milan, Italy, has been great assistance to junior forward Artemis Spanou, who contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds after coming off a career best 32-point performance against Wagner last weekend.

Head coach Sal Buscaglia was once again pleased with the way his team fought, upsetting the previously 13-9 Red Flash who had an 8-3 conference record.

“I want to focus on the fact that we’ve won four out of our last five games,” said the 10-year head coach. “This is probably our biggest win this season with them [Saint Francis] being in the top three of the conference. We really came in and controlled the entire game.”

The Colonials skipper also eluded their success to the play of his thriving shooting guard.

“She [Ashley Ravelli] is just an amazing freshman,” said Buscaglia. “One thing about having these injury problems is that we’re giving the remaining players a lot of minutes. Can you imagine the future?”

The future looks bright, indeed.

The Colonials currently have two freshmen in the starting rotation, as Oakland, California product, Randi Jackson, has joined Ravelli in the RMU backcourt to create a dynamic and versatile attack.

Jackson may not be leading the team in scoring every night, but her presence as the lone healthy point guard on the roster has been extremely important to the team’s offensive game plan. Averaging four assists per contest in her last seven games, the freshman ball-handler has gained valuable playing experience after the recent knee-injury to guard Lou Mataly.

“Randi’s awesome,” stated Ravelli. “She’s a great player. Every team puts pressure on her because they know she’s the only point guard, and she’s done a great job with that every game.”

The Colonials look ahead to two conference road-games with NEC playoff implications on the line as they face Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac. This season, the team has gone a dismal 2-11 on the road, but Buscaglia believes the squad’s recent momentum will dictate a different outcome this time around.

“We’re a completely different team now,” he stated. “We know each other better and know what our players can do. We’ve got such a young team and as the season moves on, their learning to play more with fatigue.”