FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team dropped a 67-38 decision to the league-leading Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday afternoon from the Pitt Center. With the loss, SHU drops to 8-14 on the season and 5-6 in the NEC while RMU continues to dominate the league, improving to 16-6 overall and 11-0 in NEC play.
Heading into the contest with seven healthy players, the cards were stacked against the Pioneers from the start against an RMU squad that has dominated NEC opponents to the tone of a +20.7 scoring margin in their first 10 conference games. SHU trailed by just nine at the half but a convincing 21-5 third quarter for RMU put this one out of reach.
Nikki Johnson led the way for the shorthanded Pioneer squad with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists while Olivia Dabney joined Johnson in double figures with 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Allyson Murphy played all 40 minutes and tallied six points while Marie-Laeticia Ziba also scored six.
1st Quarter (22-11 RMU)
- RMU seized control from the jump, opening a 9-0 lead to force an early SHU timeout just over two minutes into the game
- Coming out of the timeout, SHU gained some traction on the offensive end as Dabney hit a triple for the first Pioneer points of the game followed by a Johnson runner to make it 9-5 Colonials
- Another late RMU run, this time a 7-0 streak, stretched the Colonials' lead to 20-8, their largest of the first half
- Dabney managed another three, her second of the quarter, with just over one minute on the clock as SHU trailed by 11 after one
Liv is catching �� from �� pic.twitter.com/YfqqA3pwIH— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 8, 2020
2nd Quarter (31-22 RMU)
- After RMU stretched their lead back up to double digits at 26-15, SHU made it a game in the second as seven unanswered points for the Pioneers made it 26-22 with 4:29 remaining in the frame
- Johnson keyed the scoring run as she hit a three at the top of the key before driving for a lefty runner
- Dabney later spotted Carly Stroemel open underneath as the first-year made a cut to lower the gap to just four
- That four-point margin, however, was the closest SHU would get as RMU held the Pioneers scoreless for the final 4+ minutes of the half while scoring five straight to lead by nine at the break
Grab it and go for Liv who finds Nikki on the break �� pic.twitter.com/32r2GHiJgO— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 8, 2020
3rd Quarter (52-27 RMU)
- RMU came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, outscoring SHU 21-5 and holding the Pioneers without a field goal in the quarter (0-for-11, 0-for-7 from three)
- All five SHU points in the quarter came at the free throw line as the Pioneers went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe
- The Pioneer defense did its best to hold serve at the start of the third, holding RMU without a field goal for the first 3:24 of the period but the Colonials were able to build a 25-point lead by the end of the third
4th Quarter (67-38 RMU)
- Dabney put an end to the Pioneers' extended struggles on the offensive end with a runner 1:34 into the period
- The Dabney bucket started a mini spurt for the SHU offense as Ziba banked in her second three of the game before Sonia Smith stopped and popped for a two-pointer
- RMU scored nine of the final 11 points of the game to finish off the 29-point victory
Battling till the end �� pic.twitter.com/9HM78FGaKs— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 8, 2020
- Johnson now has 10+ points in consecutive games just three games removed from missing 11 straight with an injury
- Dabney just missed her third double-double of the season, finishing with nine rebounds to go along with 10 points, as her nine-rebound total is her highest mark in the last eight games
- Abigail Kangudie posted eight rebounds and four blocks as she now has four blocks in back-to-back games and 11 over her last three (3.7 per game average in that three-game span)
- SHU did hold RMU to just 6-for-27 (22.2 percent) from three and less than 40 percent shooting for the game
- Nneka Ezeigbo led RMU with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu also tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds
SHU concludes a three-game homestand on Monday night against SFU for a 7:00 PM tip-off on SNY.