Moon Township, Pa. (March 3, 2014) – In a battle of the top two teams in the Northeast Conference, the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team was handed a 71-65 road loss at Robert Morris on Monday night at the Charles L. Sewall Center in the regular season finale. Senior guard Ashley Christie led the Mount with 18 points and seven steals in the defeat.
The Mount (18-12, 13-5 NEC) finishes the NEC regular season in second place and will be the No. 2 seed in the NEC Tournament, beginning with the quarterfinals versus seventh-seeded Wagner on Sunday, March 9, at Knott Arena. The Mountaineers had won eight in a row entering Monday with the last loss coming on Feb. 1 to RMU (18-11, 14-4 NEC).
Senior Jessie Kaufman drained a three-pointer with 13.5 seconds left to cut the Colonials' lead to 69-65, but RMU's Artemis Spanou sank two free throws with 9.9 seconds on the clock to ice the game. Spanou recorded a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead Robert Morris to the NEC Regular Season title. Cassie Oursler also picked up a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 18 boards.
The Mount was able to force RMU into 20 turnovers on the night, but was outrebounded 40-29. For the game, the Mount shot 24-of-63 (38.1 percent), while the Colonials were 24-of-50 (48.0 percent) on field goals.
Early on, the Mountaineers took their first lead of the game on Kaufman's runner for a 13-12 edge 7:04 into the opening half. Jacqueline Brewer, who scored 13 points on the night, drained a three from the left corner for a 16-14 Mount advantage, and after a stop on the other end, Brewer hit a contested jumper for an 18-14 lead.
Later in the half with the Mount nursing a 22-21 advantage, the Colonials went on a 15-6 run for a 36-28 lead with 3:02 remaining before halftime.
In the final minute of the half, Jody Chickey drained a pair of free throws and Rachel Mathews finished a layup before Anna Niki Stamolamprou hit a jumper in the waning seconds for a 38-32 RMU halftime lead. It was the first time the Mount was down after 20 minutes since Feb. 1 versus Robert Morris.
As part of a 7-0 run to open the second half, Spanou's layup with 18:16 showing on the clock gave the Colonials their first 10-point edge at 42-32.
Christie carried the Mount's offense with seven of her team's first 12 points in the second half. Her layup with 12:07 left cut the Mount's deficit back down to 10 points at 54-44.
An 8-2 stretch by the Mountaineers was capped by Kaufman's three at the top of the key to cut the RMU lead to 56-50 with 9:22 remaining. The Colonials put together another offensive push to get the lead back up to double digits before Christie's make from beyond the three-point arc trimmed the lead down to 64-59. It was the closest the Mount would get until the final minute of the game.
The Mount made 10 threes on the night, including four from Kaufman, who had 14 points in the game. It was the sixth time the Mount has made 10 or more three-pointers this season.
GAME NOTES: The Mount will host its first NEC Tournament game since the 2001-02 season… The Mount now leads the all-time series with RMU, 33-19.