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New-look Robert Morris women faring well

| Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011

The Robert Morris women have three new starters and six new players, but they opened the season 3-0 for just the second time in the program's 36-year history.

The Colonials (3-1) suffered their first loss in their first road game at Stony Brook on Wednesday, but coach Sal Buscaglia said he's pleased with the start overall.

"Three of the five starters are new, but they were junior-college players and they're good junior-college players," he said. "They've come in and, for the most part, bought into the system, so I think between the improvement of returning players and then the new kids we brought in, they're gelling very quickly. Then, the kids who are coming off the bench have played solid minutes."

Robert Morris had been attempting to become just the second team in its 36-year history to start 4-0. The 1980-81 team was 4-0 and, until this year, was the only squad to start 3-0. Robert Morris' three wins are against Coppin State and two Mid-American Conference opponents: Kent State and Central Michigan.

> > Penn State dropped from No. 11 to No. 17 in the most recent Associated Press rankings. The Lady Lions used late runs to capture their first three wins. Entering Friday night's game, sophomore Maggie Lucas was the No. 4 scorer in the Big Ten, averaging 16.5 points. After this weekend's four-team tournament in Nevada, Penn State faces No. 15 North Carolina on Wednesday.

> > After a 1-1 road trip to North Dakota — losing at North Dakota and beating North Dakota State — the Duquesne women (3-1) are home for the next six games. The Dukes don't hit the road again until Dec. 20, when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., for the Gator Holiday Classic.

> > Notre Dame star forward Tim Abromaitis is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during practice Friday. The fifth-year senior, a preseason All-Big East selection, is expected to have surgery in the next two weeks. Abromaitis played in two games and was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds last season.

District Schedule


Louisiana-Lafayette (3-3) at Duquesne (3-2)

When/where: 7 p.m. Saturday/Palumbo Center

On air: WPGB-FM (104.7)

Line: Duquesne by 11.5

Series: First meeting

Of note: T.J. McConnell, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard, leads Duquesne in rebounds (5.0), assists (6.0) and steals (3.0). He recorded only the second triple-double in school history with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists last week against Division II District of Columbia.

Players to watch

Duquesne: Sean Johnson, Jr., G — He was named to the 2K Sports Classic Valparaiso Subregional All-Tournament team after averaging 18.7 points on 50 percent shooting in three games.

Louisiana-Lafayette: J.J. Thomas, So., F — He's averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds and shooting 85.7 percent (12 of 14) from the foul line.

Penn State (5-1) at Saint Joseph's (3-2)

When/where: 3:30 p.m. Saturday/Michael J. Hagan Arena, Philadelphia

Line: Saint Joseph's by 6

Series: Penn State leads, 14-9

Of note: Penn State is shooting only 60 percent from the foul line (72 of 120).

Players to watch

Penn State: Tim Frazier, Jr., G — After posting 26 points and 11 assists in Wednesday's win against Youngstown State, he has three double-doubles this season.

St. Joseph's: C.J. Aiken, So., F — He collected 19 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and two steals in a 104-99 double-overtime loss to Iona on Wednesday.


Drexel (2-1) at Pitt (3-1)

When/where: 2 p.m. Saturday/Petersen Events Center

On air: WJAS-AM

Series: First meeting

Of note: The Panthers are looking to win their fourth in a row.

Players to watch

Pitt: Marquel Davis, So., G — She scored a game-high 26 points Sunday against Central Michigan.

Drexel: Kamile Nacickaite, Sr. G — She had a career-high 33 points in a victory at Akron last Saturday.

Robert Morris (3-1) vs. Elon (2-1)

When/where: 6:30 p.m. Saturday/Minges Coliseum (Greenville, N.C.)

Series: First meeting.

Of note: The Colonials are participating in the East Carolina Thanksgiving Classic. They'll face Delaware State on Sunday.

Players to watch

Robert Morris: Mary Durojaye, Sr., F — She has a double-double in her past two games, including a career-high 16 points Wednesday at Stony Brook.

Elon: Zora Stephenson, Fr., G — She scored a game-high 28 points, including eight 3-pointers, against NAIA Virginia Intermont on Nov. 18.

17-Penn State (4-1) vs. Nevada (3-2)

When/where: Saturday/Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nev.

Of note: The Lady Lions played Iowa State in the Nugget Classic on Friday. Nevada beat Butler, 71-69, to advance to today's title game at 7 p.m. The consolation matchup is at 5.

Player to watch

Penn State: Talia East, So., C — She had a career-high 15 rebounds and added seven blocks and six points in Sunday's win over South Carolina.

Nevada: Amanda Johnson, Sr., G — The point guard led the WAC in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio last season.

West Virginia (3-1) vs. Cal State Northridge (3-2)

Of note: The Mountaineers played UCLA on Friday in the first game of the Woodland Hills Thanksgiving Classic. Their opponent today was determined with the Cal State Northridge/Colgate matchup late last night.

Player to watch

West Virginia: Taylor Palmer, So., G — She had eight 3-pointers in the Mountaineers' season-opening victory against Youngstown State on Nov. 11.

Cal State Northridge: Jasmine Erving, Sr., C — She ranks seventh in program history with 1,137 points.

— Associated Press contributed to this report.

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