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Women’s basketball preview: Robert Morris aiming for top of NEC again

November 29, 2018

Robert Morris opens as the preseason favorite to win the Northeast Conference, the type of expectation that has become commonplace for the Colonials after winning three NEC titles between 2014-17.

But third-year coach Charlie Buscaglia isn’t putting much stock in the prediction.

“We always go forward,” he said. “Once we have the ranking, it’s over with. We don’t use it as any motivation.”

Three players to watch

Nneka Ezeigbo: The junior center led the Colonials in scoring (10.7) and rebounding (7.0) despite not starting a game. Long and physical in the post, the 6-foot-2 Ezeigbo has a chance for a breakout season.

Honoka Ikematsu: A freshman thrust into a starting role last season because of injuries, RMU’s first Japanese player handled herself well playing point and shooting guard. She started every game and shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range.

Megan Callahan: Another freshman who played a key role in 2017-18, she started all but one game and scored in double figures 14 times. She forms a potent long-range tandem with Ikematsu, shooting 38.3 percent on 3-pointers.

Season will be a success if ...

... Nia Adams and Shakema Dashiell make successful returns from injury. Both sat out most of last season, but they give the Colonials more depth and, both being seniors, experience and savvy. Both can contribute in tangible and intangible ways.

Season will be a flop if ...

... the young players don’t continue to progress. The Colonials relied on a lot of freshmen last season, and they rose to the challenge. But if they stagnate in their development, RMU might not live up to its preseason billing.

Predicted record

21-8 overall, 16-2 NEC

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