Loretto, Pa. – After forging a nine-game winning streak, including a 7-0 mark in January, the Robert Morris Women’s Basketball squad lost their first Northeast Conference contest 68-47 Saturday to the Red Flash of Saint Francis University at DeGol Arena. The two rivals share first place now in the NEC with identical 9-1 records.
RMU hit the scoresheet with a 10-0 run to begin the first quarter, followed by a 9-2 run in the second. The Colonials (16-5) built a 27-22 lead going into halftime with eight points coming from freshman guard Megan Callahan and five from senior forward Jocelynne Jones. SFU’s output of 22 points was their lowest first-half total this season.
Saint Francis (14-8) starting junior guard Jessica Kovatch took charge in the third, putting up five three-pointers in a three-minute span as the Red and White built a 19-point advantage off a 13-0 run. They outscored Robert Morris 29-7 by the close of the quarter while the defense held RMU to 2-16 shooting. The Red Flash kept the Colonials rally in check in the fourth, 17-13. Kovatch led all players with 32 points, 23 coming in the second-half.
For the fifth consecutive match-up, Callahan claimed double-figures in scoring as she wrapped up the afternoon with 17 points. Jones was the leader in assists with four to go along with eight points. Freshman guard Honoka Ikematsu had four steals while senior center Mikalah Mulrain picked up her 26th blocked shot this season. Nneka Ezeigbo, a sophomore center, contributed six rebounds.
Colonials’ head coach Charlie Buscaglia talked with Ethan Woy on the team’s site, “We’ve had little tastes of adversity throughout the season. We need to have our hands open with a full heart ready to respond to those moments of adversity. Things come at you in different ways, and you have to stay faithful in what you do by continuing to outhustle and outwork them. Adversity got the best of us today.”
Stat Line Of The Game: RMU delivered just 18 points in the paint, compared to 36 on Saturday, Jan. 13, when the two combatants met at the North Athletic Complex in Moon Township.
Robert Morris’ Musket Mis-Fires: The Red Flash coerced 22 turnovers and collected 24 points against the Blue, White, and Red.
SFU’s Caitlyn Kroll, a redshirt freshman guard, and Ace Harrison, a graduate student forward, tallied 12 points apiece. Harrison came through with 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots. Redshirt senior forward Kyasia Duling tied Harrison in providing three assists each for head coach Joe Haigh’s crew.
Next Up: The Colonials return to the Empire State Saturday, Feb. 10 to face the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (9-12, 5-5 NEC) at the Steinberg Wellness Center. The meeting gets underway at 2:00 p.m.
The Red Flash also load up the bus next weekend as they visit the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (8-13, 4-6 NEC) on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.