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Robert Morris Basketball

Survive and Advance, Robert Morris Beats Wagner in OT, 65-61



No. 1 seed Robert Morris wasn’t expected to be challenged in their first round game against #8 Wagner. RMU entered the game with 21 wins while Wagner was 10-19 and only once in the history of the NEC Tournament has a No. 8 seed defeated a No. 1 seed.

But the game isn’t played on paper.

Wagner gave the Colonials everything they had and more before losing 65-61 in overtime at the UPMC Events Center.

With the RMU trailing 54-52 in the last seconds of regulation, Nina Augustin found her way through the lane to convert on a layup to send the game to overtime.

”That’s something we worked on recently,” said RMU head coach Charlie Buscaglia of Augustin’s tying layup. “When you work on that kind of stuff, you’re not sure when you have to use it. On a game like today, when you’re looking at it from the outside and see one versus eight – last time we played Wagner, we beat them pretty good — they say you’re not going to need that. We thought we did, and the work they put into that play benefited us when the moment came.”

In OT, Augustin came up big again as she connected on a jumper to give the Colonials a four point led with less than a minute to play.  With the score 63-61 and 9 seconds left, Augustin connected on two free throws to seal the game and send Robert Morris into the semifinals.

RMU’s Big Three of Nneka Ezeigbo, Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu and Isabella Posset have led the way all season for Buscaglia’s team and did so again last night as Ezeigbo scored 16 points and 12 rebounds, Ozzy-Momodu contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds while Posset added 10 points and 7 rebounds.

“I give Wagner a ton of credit, they really worked hard and it’s really unfortunate that someone had to lose when they play that hard,” said Buscaglia. “I tip my hat to them, they really pushed us to the limit in all aspects. We had to be really good down the stretch to be able to pull that off, and I’m proud of our group as things weren’t easy for us. We were able to overcome it because we stuck together when adversity had hit.”

Next up for Robert Morris is a semifinal matchup on Thursday night against 5th seed Sacred Heart, who defeated 4th seed St. Francis, 73-70. In both meetings this season, RMU defeated Sacred Heart, 73-43 and 67-38. Tipoff from the UPMC Events Center is at 7 PM.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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