Photo credit: Morgan Torchia

Colonial Talk: breaking down RMU’s battle with the Blue Devils

January 30, 2018

The Robert Morris women’s basketball team continued their winning ways in conference play in Monday’s game against Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). The Colonials defeated the Blue Devils by a final score of 66-47, improving their record to 16-4 (9-0 NEC).

Now here is a look at the several key takeaways from this game.

Fight fire with fire: CCSU found early success with the three ball, in fact their first 15 points came from downtown. This included a huge three at the buzzer to end the first quarter that put the game within one. Robert Morris eventually contained CCSU’s deep ball as they ended up shooting 10-30 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc. RMU shot 8-18 (44.4 percent) from downtown and even shot 50 percent from three in the second half. Every big three ball the Blue Devils sank was countered by a big bucket from the Colonials.

RMU Women’s Basketball continues to dominate to NEC.

Locked Down: CCSU star Kiana Patterson was kept quiet by the aggressive Colonials defense. Patterson was never able to get into a rhythm during this game. She only shot 2-11 (18.1 percent) from the floor, which included a 1-6 (16.6 percent) shooting effort from three. Her seven points came far and in between thanks to stellar defense on her the entire game.

CCSU’s Morgan Johnson attempted to step up for the Blue Devils as she scored 11 points. She drained 3 of 4 three-pointers, most of which came in the first half. Her lone three in the second half came at a time when the game had already been decided. Overall, the Colonials did a great job locking down the shooters on the Blue Devils roster.

Smith’s leadership shines: Senior Megan Smith stepped in as a leader for RMU during critical points of the game. Smith shot 9-10 (90 percent) from the field, and scored 22 points in total, which led all scorers. She was also very involved on the boards as she pulled down nine rebounds.

Something that could have been overshadowed was Smith’s leadership. There were a few runs made by CCSU that put them right back into the game. At one point in the second quarter, the Colonials had even allowed the Blue Devils to come back and tie the game. Smith took charge and showed veteran leadership however. She could be heard talking to her teammates during timeouts. Smith was able to motivate and calm down her teammates which led to strong runs from the Colonials even when they were rattled.

Strong second half: When the NEC-leading Colonials only led the ninth-place Blue Devils by nine at the half, it could have been easy for them to come out of the gate playing conservatively in the second half. This was not the case, though, as the Colonials charged forward and put together an impressive second half. Their field goal percentage was 50 percent, as was their three-point percentage.

The defense also shined during the last 20 minutes of play, as they forced the Blue Devils to shoot 26 percent from the field and from deep. An energetic RMU team came out of the locker room at halftime and simply had their way with CCSU during the later stages of the game. Despite the close score at the end of the first half, the Colonials left no doubt as to who the better team was by the time the final buzzer sounded.

The RMU women’s basketball team will look to go 10-0 in conference play when they play Saint Francis on Feb. 3. If they control the game as much as they did in the later stages of Monday’s game, the Colonials should be in good shape.

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