Megan Smith celebrates with teammates after draining game-winning shot against Saint Francis. Moon Township, PA. Saturday January 13, 2017 (RMU Sentry Media/Morgan Torchia)
Megan Smith celebrates with teammates after draining game-winning shot against Saint Francis. Moon Township, PA. Saturday January 13, 2017 (RMU Sentry Media/Morgan Torchia)

Megan Smith wins it at the buzzer in key NEC battle

January 13, 2018

Fans inside the North Athletic Complex held their collective breaths as Robert Morris forward Megan Smith sent up a three-point shot down two points as the final seconds ticked off the clock. And as the ball and the net made the sweetest sound in basketball, hysteria broke out as the Colonials went home 63-62 over the Red Flash of Saint Francis.

For the Robert Morris Colonials, this was the definition of a grind-it-out game.

The team committed 33 turnovers, saw themselves trail for most of the game, and found themselves down by nine with just over six minutes left.

Saint Francis’ star player Jessica Kovatch dominated the Colonials, putting up 42 points on 16-for-34 shooting, including eight three-pointers.

The Red Flash full-court press was troubling the Colonials all game, and it appeared that RMU was falling right into SFU’s game plan.

But Robert Morris kept grinding. Freshman guards Honoka Ikematsu and Nina Augustin hit a pair of clutch threes to bring the game within three points with three minutes to play. And from there it was an all-out battle to the finish.

The score sat at 62-60 with just 17.5 seconds to play with the Colonials in possession of the ball and a chance to send the game into overtime or go for the win.

The play was broken from the start. Nina Augustin ended up with the basketball, scrambling just to keep away from the physical Red Flash defenders. Time was winding down, and it appeared they may not even be able to get off a shot.

But a desperation pass sent to Megan Smith gave the senior just enough time to get off the game-winning shot as the clock hit zero. A season-defining moment for this Robert Morris squad that appears to be in the makings of something truly special.

“She takes extra shots at practice, she comes out here when she has down time and shoots on the gun. So she comes on her own … and that shot was completely because of all of that,” said Robert Morris head coach Buscaglia.

“We had a plan drawn out in the timeout. But we fumbled the ball a little bit. There was still time left, so we just reversed it out. Nina (Augustin) made a really good pass and I just hoped and prayed it would go in,” said Megan Smith.

Robert Morris moves to 12-4 on the season and 5-0 in conference play, putting them in sole possession of first place in the Northeast Conference.

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