After the men’s devastating loss, the Duquesne women try to stay #1 in the city of Pittsburgh in the upcoming County Game tonight at 7:00 PM. Duquesne has fared well in the County Game as of late, winning the last three and 10 of the 13 games played since the turn of the millennium. RMU was the preseason favorite in a very down NEC this year. Last year, the Dukes struggled at the Sewall Center, playing arguably their worst game of the year, but won 61-47. RMU’s team this year is much better, and the Dukes will have to play better to get the victory. The Colonials enter the game at 3-5 and on a four game losing streak. The Dukes enter at 7-3.
Scouting Robert Morris:
Robert Morris will have a very international flavor going into the game. (Rogabee starts chants of USA! USA! at the game. Whoops, half of Duquesne’s team is from Canada or Hungary…)
The Colonials bring back Artemis Spanou, who was easily voted the NEC Player of the Year last year, in addition to a solid but unspectacular supporting cast. Spanou, from Greece, is a close to complete 6-2 forward. She is six points away from setting RMU’s career scoring record and already has Bobby Mo’s career rebounding record. What’s even more amazing is that Artemis is ready to set the scoring record for RMU despite being triple-teamed quite often last year as she was not only the primary option but often the second and third option last year on a team decimated by injuries and graduation. She scores extremely well out of the post and off the dribble, is a very good passer for a big, and has played solid defense (at least against the Dukes). Obviously, Spanou is the one to stop for RMU. If the Dukes can hold Spanou to 15 points on 14 shots like they did last year, the Dukes should win.
Ashley Ravelli is the next leading scorer for the Colonials. Ashley, a sophomore guard, was the NEC Rookie of the Year last year. Coming from Italy, Ravelli is a good three-point shooter (35% last year) with solid defensive instincts. She was among the nation’s leaders in minutes played last year, averaging 36 mins, 37 seconds a game.
Also coming back for the Colonials is sophomore Anna Stamolamprou. Stamolamprou, from Greece, is a PG (who can also play the off-guard if needed) who like most European PGs is a great passer. However, she hasn’t played in the last four games, and I couldn’t find injury information on Anna. Hopefully she’s better…
Cassie Oursler is the starting 5 for Robert Morris. Oursler is a very athletic 6-3 and has some very nifty post moves. She averaged 17 and 9 two years ago before missing last year.
Janee Brown will likely start at PG for the Colonials, especially if Anna Stamolamprou can’t go. She’s a very quick and athletic point guard, but right now the rest of her game still needs refined.
Freshman Rebecca Navarro (Spain) will come off the bench for RMU.
Kelly Hartwell, a highly touted recruit for the NEC (was ranked the #66 SF), will come off the bench at forward.
At coach, Sal Buscaglia has done an amazing job at Robert Morris. Taking over a 1-26 program, Buscaglia took RMU to the NCAAs four years later. He is a coach that will adapt to his players, incorporating different offensive systems to match the personnel, going from a top 50 paced team to a sub-300 paced team. We’ve seen everything from the typical sets to the dribble-drive motion offense under Coach Sal. It’s hard to know what style the Colonials will run against the Dukes this year…
The Dukes are the much better team and playing at home. Even if they look ahead to their biggest OOC games in WVU and Pitt upcoming, the Dukes should still win by 15+ if they play for even 25 minutes. Duquesne, 76-57.