Robert Morris’ undefeated conference run finally came to an end Sunday thanks to a dominating 68-47 defeat at the hands of the of the Saint Francis Red Flash. It was a game that started off much better than it finished for the Colonials. Here’s the breakdown of everything that happened in Loretto on Saturday afternoon.
The third quarter of Charlie Buscaglia’s nightmares: Everything was going as planned for Charlie Buscaglia and his Colonials squad: they held a 32-27 lead into the half, and the game was working right into Robert Morris’ style of play.
That’s when everything fell apart. That’s not even an exaggeration.
Robert Morris was outscored 29-7 in the third quarter much of which was thanks to the play of the one and only Jessica Kovatch. Robert Morris shot a measly 2-for-16 in the entire quarter, while the Red Flash were shooting at a clip of 9-for-18 including 6-for-10 from three-point range.
RMU only committed four turnovers in the second half, but it didn’t much matter because the shots they were getting were not landing. Jocelynne Jones was so ice cold from long range that most plays, she wouldn’t even be covered when she was beyond the arc.
Can’t stop Kovatch: What started off slow ended up being a record-setting day for Jessica Kovatch, who became the conference’s career leader in three-pointers made on Saturday. At first, it looked like at the beginning of this one, that the Colonials had found the secret formula to stopping one of the best point guards in the nation in Kovatch, limiting her to just two points in the first quarter. After that, Kovatch proved that her quiet first quarter was not something the Colonials should expect for the rest of the game coming out and scoring 30 in the final three quarters of play, including a monster third quarter that saw Kovatch put up six three-pointers for 18 points.
A tale of two defenses: The Robert Morris defense came out proving why they have the best defense in the conference. Holding the Red Flash, a team that averaged 80.7 points per game going into this one, to just 22 points in the first half. It had to be known that the Colonials wouldn’t be able to silence Kovatch for long, and her 18-point third quarter certainly shows that. But the entire second half seemed to bring out two different teams than the defensive battle that came out of the first half. The Red Flash came out firing and Robert Morris was not ready, getting outscored 42-16 in the second half.
Aced (Harrison) the exam: Give a lot of credit to Ace Harrison, who did everything in her power to keep the Red Flash in the game during the first quarter where Kovatch was basically non-existent. Ace had eight of the first 14 points for SFU, bringing her team all the way back after RMU started the game off with the first 10 points scored. From there, Harrison finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, not a bad stat line for a player that has to share the floor with Jessica Kovatch.
The turnover troubles of Honoka Ikematsu: As talented of a player as Honoka Ikematsu was, it appears that the Japanese star’s kryptonite may be the full-court press. Ikematsu suffered the same struggles the last time the Red Flash threw their full-court press, and today was no different. Ikematsu committed a total of seven turnovers on the day, which would be a game high.