The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

RMU Thrashed by Northern Kentucky in Regular Season Finale

Josh Woodman

MOON TOWNSHIP – Sloppy defense and offensive inability was the story of the Robert Morris women’s basketball game, as they fell 76-52. Danielle Vuletich led the team with 19 points, 11 coming in the first. This marks the 16th consecutive loss for RMU, one away from equaling the longest in program history.

“Our resilience isn’t there.” Scott Schneider, interim head coach, said. “When the tough moments come, they can’t seem to bounce back from it.”

RMU found themselves down 16-0 in the first quarter. The Colonials got their first point with 2:49 left, coming from a layup from Natalie Johnson. Danielle Vuletich took over for the rest of the half, with additional points coming from Paris Kirk and Micah O’Dell.

“The message has always been for them to play free. We seem to struggle when we become individual-focused,” Coach Schneider said. “If you play as individuals, you’re not going to go as far as you can as a team.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Colonials found themselves in a 14-point deficit by the end of the first half. But the offensive play flipped at the start of the second half.

“It wasn’t the adjustments. It was showing them and bringing up the example of how NKU was playing to our scout, and ways we need to be playing more efficient in playing against them,” Coach Schneider said.

Unfortunately, as Schneider points out, the points won’t matter much if the defense is not up to par.

“[The] problem is that if you don’t outscore teams in any of the quarters, you have a very slim chance of winning. So when you score 18 but give up 25, it hides the fact you had a great third quarter,” Schneider said.

What killed the Colonials in the end was that noted sloppy defense. The inability to hold or go on a run against NKU led to a large deficit. The Norse made 11 of their 31 three-point attempts compared to RMU’s 4 for 16. A lot of the looks from NKU came from swinging and transitioning, something the Colonials were never able to come to terms with.

When asked why Robert Morris couldn’t grapple with the offensive play, Schneider said, “Our team mentality. We haven’t been communicating at the level we need to. We’ve been addressing it. It’s easy when it’s relaxed and when it’s calm and then when the moments come, and the intensity happens and you’re really in the fire, is when that needs to elevate and escalate, and that’s what seems to not always click with us.”

Schneider agreed that for his players not to see and fix these issues, specific difficulty reading and marking players is a problem they must fix before Horizon League tournament play begins next month.

“That’s actually what a lot of our pregame film session was, showing those deficiencies in previous games, knowing that’s how NKU would attack, and we even practiced it, and it seemed to be our nemesis today.”

Schneider added, “I always joke with the team, I’m really big into cliches and sayings, and to repeat the same actions over and over and expect a different outcome is often defined as insanity, and as a coach, it turns your hairs grey pretty quick.”

That opening round of the Horizon League postseason begins March 5. Currently, RMU is in a position to take on Youngstown State, a team they have split with this season, narrowly beating the Penguins at home in December before losing at the end of January.

“I love a challenge. I love the opportunity. I love the mentality to go on the road and be the road warrior. I love spoiling people’s parties,” Schneider said. “We’re going to instill that into this group. We’re going to show that mentality going forward. We’re going to compete, and it’s something that will allow us to showcase what we’re about.”

While their opposition could change in the coming days, Schneider is not worried about who takes the court to rival his team.

“The beauty of who we get to play is that we’ve earned that opportunity, through the good and the bad, that we get to travel on the road and be us in that circle. And we’ll see how tough we are. We’ll see how gritty we are, we’re going to see what we’re made of, and hopefully, we’ll surprise some people, but most importantly, we have to prove it to ourselves.”

The 11-seeded Colonials will travel to face the sixth seed no matter what. The first round of the Horizon League Women’s Basketball championships is scheduled to kick off March 5 at 7 p.m.

More to Discover