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Shake-up is benefiting Robert Morris women's basketball team

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012

The Robert Morris women's team has been maddeningly inconsistent this season, playing well in some games — including a win over Central Michigan and a three-point loss to Duquesne — but losing to opponents they should beat, including St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday.

It was only the third win this season for the Terriers, and it was on the Colonials' home court.

That was Robert Morris' (11-10, 5-5 Northeast Conference) fourth home loss in a row after going undefeated at Sewall Center up to that point. So, coach Sal Buscaglia decided to shake things up by starting only two regulars — senior forward Mary Durojaye and sophomore forward Artemis Spanou — against Long Island (15-7, 4-6) at home Monday. The result was a come-from-behind, 63-57 win.

"We were just trying to light a little fire," Buscaglia said. "It's not a good feeling when you don't know what team is going to show up. It's been an up-and-down affair all year, and we just felt it was better to give some other kids opportunities."

Buscaglia used all 11 players, although it was Durojaye and Spanou who continued to lead the team. Durojaye had a career-high 29 points despite suffering a knee injury that relegated her to the bench for part of the second half, and Spanou just missed a double-double (nine points, 13 rebounds).

> > The Duquesne women host a tough Atlantic 10 foe tonight. St. Bonaventure (20-2) is on the verge of cracking the Top 25, garnering 61 votes this week, and is third behind Baylor (21-0) and Notre Dame (21-1) in victories. It is the only unbeaten team in the conference (7-0) and it's on a nine-game winning streak — second longest in program history.

District schedule


Duquesne vs. Dayton

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio

On air: WPGB-FM (104.7)

Records: Duquesne 12-9, 3-4 Atlantic 10; Dayton 14-7, 4-3

Series: Dayton leads, 44-21

Of note: Both Duquesne and Dayton have lost two in a row; neither team has lost three in a row this season.

Players to watch

Duquesne, T.J. McConnell, So., G. — Leads the conference in steals (2.9 per game) and 3-point percentage (50 percent).

Dayton, Kevin Dillard, Jr., G — Leads in points (12.5), assists (6.2) and steals (1.7) per game.


Duquesne vs. St. Bonaventure

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/A.J. Palumbo Center

On air: streaming audio

Records: Duquesne 15-6, 3-3 Atlantic 10; St. Bonaventure 20-2, 7-0

Series: Duquesne leads, 29-16

Of note: St. Bonaventure beat Duquesne, 61-53, on Jan. 9.

Players to watch

Duquesne, Alex Gensler, Sr., G — Led the team with 15 points and tied a career high with seven assists in the first meeting this season.

St. Bonaventure, Megan Van Tatenhove, Sr., F — Had 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Dukes in the first meeting.

West Virginia vs. South Florida

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/USF Recreation Center, Tampa, Fla.

Records: West Virginia 15-6, 5-3 Big East; USF 12-10, 4-4

Series: West Virginia leads, 6-1

Of note: South Florida is coming off a loss to Connecticut in which they trailed by just three points at the half — the smallest halftime deficit in 10 games against the Huskies.

Players to watch:

West Virginia, Asya Bussie, Jr., C — Had a career-high seven blocked shots against Marquette, the most of any WVU player in a single game since Georgeann Wells (eight, three times) in 1986.

South Florida, Inga Orekhova, Jr., G — Became the second-leading scorer (averaging 14 points) in just seven games after sitting out the first 15 because of transfer rules.

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