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Robert Morris women open NEC tourney with victory

Artemis Spanou, Mary Durojaye and Josette Campbell all had double-doubles Saturday, but the last 15 minutes of Robert Morris' NEC Tournament quarterfinal victory against rival St. Francis (Pa.) belonged to Briannica Tye.

The point guard scored 25 of her career-high 27 points in the second half, and Robert Morris rallied to win, 92-82, at Sewall Center. The Colonials scored 59 of their points in the second half after trailing, 39-33, at halftime. Their 92 points tied a tournament record.

Robert Morris (18-12) trailed most of the game until Tye scored to put the Colonials ahead, 55-54, with 9:35 to play. She added 11 of her team's next 12 points to lead Robert Morris on a 21-9 run. The advantage would grow to 14 with 1:41 left.

"When she keeps her cool, she's outstanding," Robert Morris coach Sal Buscaglia said of Tye, who was whistled for her fourth foul early in the second half. "She's a clutch-game type of player."

Spanou had 25 points and 14 rebounds, going 13 of 18 from the free-throw line. Durojaye finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Campbell had 17 and 12 for her first double-double.

Five players finished in double figures for St. Francis (14-16), led by Alli Williams' 17.

Next up for Robert Morris is No. 1 seed Sacred Heart on Tuesday. The Colonials lost both games to the Pioneers this season, including in overtime Monday in the final game of the regular season.

"The kids are really excited about (going back to Sacred Heart)," Buscaglia said. "We know what we're up against."

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