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Robert Morris women hope third time's the charm vs. Sacred Heart

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 2007 and 2008, fourth-seeded Robert Morris women must win two more games in the Northeast Conference Tournament beginning tonight at top-seeded Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart won the NEC regular-season title for the fourth time since 2006 just eight days ago when Gabrielle Washington hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game against RMU, and the Pioneers won in overtime, 70-66.

After two losses to the Pioneers this season, Colonials coach Sal Buscaglia believes the third meeting will end differently.

"It'll be a tough game, but our kids are really excited to go there and play them because we really feel that both the games, we could have had," Buscaglia said. "We had an 18-point lead, and we let it dissipate, and then over there we were up (and) we lost. With one-tenth of a second to go (in regulation), she hit a 3 to tie it, and we lost in overtime. So, you know, we're really excited to go there."

The 2009 NEC Tournament champs held off No. 8 Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, 62-58, while Robert Morris beat reigning champion and in-state rival St. Francis (Pa.), 92-82, to advance to today's game.

Sacred Heart has won seven of its last eight games since the beginning of February and has also won four of the past five matchups against Robert Morris. The Colonials have won seven of nine since the beginning of February and are 2-0 against Sacred Heart in playoff games, including a win in the NEC title game in 2007.

The winner of the NEC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Robert Morris Gameday

Northeast Conference Tournament semifinals

Robert Morris vs. No. 1 Sacred Heart

When/where: 7 p.m. Tuesday/William H. Pitt Center, Fairfield, Conn.

Radio/Internet: WPIT-AM (730); streaming

Records: Robert Morris 18-12, 11-7; Sacred Heart 23-7, 15-3.

Of note: The Colonials tied a Northeast Conference Tournament record on Saturday with 92 points scored. It's also the most by an RMU team since Feb. 4, 2008.

Players to watch:

Robert Morris: Briannica Tye. Jr., PG — Emerged as a secret weapon in the first round, scoring a game-high 27 points, 25 in the second half.

Sacred Heart: Callan Taylor, Sr., F — Led the Pioneers in their first-round win over Fairleigh Dickinson with 16 points and 11 rebounds.




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