By defeating the Saint Francis University Red Flash Sunday afternoon at the Charles L. Sewall Center, the Robert Morris University women’s basketball team not only claimed the Northeast Conference championship at home, but also their first NCAA tournament berth since 2008.
The scoreboard at the Chuck read 78-64 as the Colonials brought home their fifth all-time NEC tournament championship. RMU (21-11, 14-4 NEC) is projected as a No. 16 seed by many bracketologists, and they will find out their opponent as the 64-team NCAA Division 1 tournament field is announced during the women’s selection show at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN.
Robert Morris senior forward Artemis Spanou put up a game-high 30 points and 20 rebounds for the 86th double-double of her career. The NEC tournament most valuable player added six assists, two steals and a blocked shot on the afternoon.
Freshman guard Anna Niki Stamolamprou contributed 16 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists for the Colonials. She also earned a selection on the all-tournament team. Freshman guard Rebecca Navarro had nine points, two assists and one steal while freshman center Cassie Oursler put up eight points.
After a slow start, the Colonials outscored Saint Francis 30-9 over the final 15 minutes of the first half, and built a 32-18 lead going into halftime. RMU never looked back as they shot 50.9 percent for the game, and dominated the boards, 47-33.
Despite their loss, the Red Flash team fought hard and got within seven points of the lead in the second half, but could not complete the comeback.
SFU senior forward Alli Williams had 21 points and 13 rebounds while junior guard Alexa Hayward contributed 13 points, and five assists. Both were named to the NEC All-Tournament team.