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Weekend Preview: Women’s basketball looks to extend conference lead with road trip

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Weekend Preview: Women’s basketball looks to extend conference lead with road trip

Photo credit: Samuel Anthony

Photo credit: Samuel Anthony

Photo credit: Samuel Anthony

Photo credit: Samuel Anthony

Christina Kowalski, Assistant Sports Manager

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MOON TOWNSHIP — The Robert Morris University women’s basketball team (14-8, 11-0 NEC) had yet another dominant weekend as they defeated both Bryant (6-16, 4-7 NEC) and Central Connecticut (6-15, 3-8 NEC) at home. The Colonials will be on the road this weekend as they travel to Mount St. Mary’s (10-12, 4-7 NEC) and Saint Francis University (11-12, 8-3 NEC). The Colonials will travel to Maryland on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off against the Mountaineers before making the short trip to Loretto, PA where they will face off against the Red Flash Monday at 7 p.m.

Recapping RMU

Robert Morris is entering this weekend’s contests riding on an 11-game win streak that started back on January 5. The Colonials last win was at home against the Central Connecticut Blue Devils. RMU easily defeated the Blue Devils 60-40. Nneka Ezegibo and Honoka Ikematsu along with an overall dominant second half helped drive the Colonials to victory.

After a slow defensive start to the game, the Colonials got back to their roots as they dominated on defense. As a team, Robert Morris had 10 steals and three blocked shots. Of those, Ezegibo had three steals and two blocked shots.

Scouting opponents

Back on January 5, RMU started their dominant conference play at home against Mount St. Marys. Now, just over a month later, they will travel to Maryland to take on the Mountaineers for a second time. In their first meeting, RMU won 70-58.

Mount St. Marys has lost their last three games with their most recent loss coming from LIU Brooklyn by a score of 71-61. In the loss, the Mountaineers were led by freshman Michaela Harrison who had 31 points and 10 rebounds. This was Harrison’s first double-double. With the help of Harrison, Mount St. Marys was able to keep up with LIU Brooklyn until the final quarter.

RMU will also be making the short trip to play St. Francis University on Monday. St. Francis is the only team in the conference RMU has yet to play. After losing three in a row in January, the Red Flash got back on track and currently have a five-game win streak. Their last win was on Monday when they defeated Bryant 78-66. In the win over Bryant, SFU was led by senior Jess Kovatch who scored 28 points. Before the Red Flash host the Colonials they will travel to New Jersey to play Fairleigh Dickinson.

Players to watch

Irekpitan OzzyMomodu (RMU): Ozzy-Momodu had eight points and seven rebounds in the Colonials last game. The sophomore center is averaging 6.4 points per game which is good for 140 points on the season. Ozzy-Momodu is also a force to be reckoned with on defense. She has tallied 16 steals and eight blocked shots coming off the bench. The last time the Colonials played Mount St. Marys, Ozzy-Momodu collected four season highs with the most notable being 17 points.

Isabella Posset (RMU): Posset is one of those players that opponents should always watch out for. In the Colonials last game, Posset tallied seven points and two assists. Earlier this season, Posset scored 13 points and had seven assists and seven rebounds against the Mountaineers. If this game goes anything like the first match-up, look for Posset to have a huge game.

Michaela Harrison (MSM): Harrison is coming into the game against the Colonials riding off the momentum of the best game of her young career. The freshman proved that she could score in the Mounts last game where she tallied 31 points and 10 rebounds. After the Mountaineers last match-up with RMU, Harrison hit her stride. She has scored in double-digits in every game since Jan. 7, with her two highest scoring games coming in February. The Colonials defense will need to keep Harrison in the single digits if they want to maintain their perfect conference record.

Jess Kovatch (SFU): Kovatch leads her team in points per game with 22.7. She also leads her team in five other categories. In the Red Flash’s last game, Kovatch tallied 28 points. Kovatch has scored in double digits in every game the Red Flash have played this season. The closest player to Kovatch averages just 9.8 points per game. For the Colonials to come out on top against the Red Flash they will need to keep Kovatch from scoring. This could be a hard task for the Colonials, especially playing on the road.

Prediction

The Colonials will continue the dominance this weekend as they win both games. Saturday’s game against Mount St. Marys will go similar to the match-up from earlier this season. The Colonials will take control of the game early and keep up their intensity as the coast to a 78-54 victory.

The game against Saint Francis will be a challenge for the Colonials, but they will still come out on top. With the help of Ozzy-Momodu, the RMU defense will contain Kovatch and the rest of the SFU offense. This game will come down to the final minutes, but RMU will win 72-69.

 

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