|Sacred Heart Snatches Victory From Robert Morris|
Moon Township, Pa. / Charles L. Sewall Center - Junior forward Artemis Spanou (Rhodes, Greece / Nea Smyrni) recorded her 46th career double-double as the Robert Morris University women's basketball team suffered a 70-66 loss to Sacred Heart at the Charles L. Sewall Center Monday afternoon. The Colonials slip to 3-14 overall and 2-4 in the Northeast Conference while the Pioneers move to 11-7 and 3-3 in league play.
"We played very well for 35 minutes, but we didn't attack and didn't stay aggressive in the last five minutes," said RMU head coach Sal Buscaglia. "We became way too tentative late, but hopefully that won't happen as we get more experienced. We also turned it over in the last few minutes and didn't make the big play while Sacred Heart did."
Spanou scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to become the Colonials all-time leader in double-doubles. She has recorded a double-double in 12 consecutive games and is the nation's all-time leading rebounder. The Greek-born native went 9-of-14 and added six assists Monday.
Freshman guard Lou Mataly (Toulouse, France / Lycee-Bellevue) added 14 points, going 4-of-8 on three pointers, and senior Anna Gailite (Riga, Latvia / Riga Secondary #47) tacked on a season-best 11 points and nine rebounds.
Robert Morris held the lead throughout most of the game, building up a 10-point lead, 60-50, when freshman guard Ashley Ravelli (Milan, Italy / The Hun School) hit her second trey of the game with 7:42 left in regulation. She finished with eight points. Unfortunately for the Colonials, that would be their last field goal for the next four minutes.
Sacred Heart's Ericka Norman buried her only three-pointer of the game on the next possession. Spanou then went 1-of-2 on free throws before the Pioneers Morgan Merriman hit a 10-foot jumper and Blair Koniszewski converted on a pair from the chalk cutting the margin to four points with 5:47 showing.
Mataly ended the RMU drought with her fourth trifecta to push the margin back to seven points. Gabrielle Washington made a nifty finger-roll on the next play before Koniszewski nailed a three-pointer to tie the game for the first time at 64-64.
After a Colonial turnover, Merriman nailed a 17-foot jumper to put the Pioneers ahead for the first time all day with 33 second to play. Another RMU turnover and a pair of free throws on the other end for SHU iced the game as the Pioneers took the come-from-behind win on the power of the late 18-4 run.
Robert Morris jumped out to a 6-0 lead and stayed on top for nearly the entirety of the game. Spanou scored seven of the team's first nine points as the Colonials surged to an 11-4 lead. RMU finished the first half on a 7-0 run as freshman Randi Jackson (Oakland, Calif. / Bishop O'Dowd) drained a three-pointer before Gailite and Spanou scored on lay-ups to put the host squad ahead, 37-27.
Merriman topped the Pioneers in scoring with 20 points. Washington chipped in with 17 points and Norman had 14 to go along with eight assists.
The Colonials shot a season-high 52.1 percent (25-48) including an impressive 53.3 percent (8-15) from three-point range. RMU also held a 33-21 edge on the glass but could not overcome 20 turnovers which the Pioneers were able to convert into 21 points.
The Colonials finish off a three-game homestand when Mount St. Mary's visits the Charles L. Sewall Center for a 4:00 p.m. game Saturday, January 26.