3:00 PM ET, March 16, 2008
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) -- Robert Morris showed Sunday that its depth extends beyond top players Sade Logan and Chinata Nesbit.Logan and Nesbit, the second-highest scoring tandem in Division I women's basketball, combined for 33 points, but four other Colonials also reached double figures in an 86-75 victory over Long Island University that gave Robert Morris its second consecutive Northeast Conference tournament championship."They were really trying to key on us, so we just tried to open it up and let everybody else score," Logan said. "For my teammates to get open and make the shots was very important."The win was the 17th in a row for the Robert Morris (23-9), which earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Three of those 17 wins came against Long Island (24-8).Logan scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, and Nesbit barely missed recording her third triple-double in six games.Nesbit, the NEC tournament MVP for the second year in a row, had 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists. Nesbit had a triple-double in the NEC quarterfinals against St. Francis, N.Y. and also against Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 25, the first triple-double in school history.Psyche Butler added 15 points, Kendra Williams 14 and Grace Williams and Angela Pace scored 12 apiece for the Colonials. It was the first time since 2002 that Robert Morris had six players score in double figures."The kids other than Logan and Nesbit did a super job of stepping up," Long Island coach Stephanie Gaitley said. "I thought the better team won today."Robert Morris lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year to North Carolina State."I told the kids not to settle," Robert Morris coach Sal Buscaglia said. "It's great to go back-to-back to the tournament, but let's not settle. We want to go and win, not just show up."Buscaglia prepped his team by playing a strong non-conference schedule that included road games at Missouri, Nebraska, Florida and Tulane."I'm hoping that will help in the tournament," Buscaglia said.Valerie Nainima led Long Island with 22 points. Chelsi Johnson added 17 points. Logan, the second-leading scorer in the nation at 25.4 points, averaged 27 points in Robert Morris' three conference tournament victories.Logan entered the game needing five 3-pointers to tie the NCAA women's single-season record of 126. She went 3 for 7 from beyond the 3-point line."We wanted to make Logan work a little harder," Gaitley said. "Overall, we did a good job, but Nesbit is an outstanding player and makes everyone around her better."Long Island's defense was 10th in the country and held opponents to 53.7 points per game. Robert Morris, however, scored 53 points in the second half.The 86 points by Robert Morris easily were the most allowed by Long Island this season.Long Island pulled within seven points several times late, but Robert Morris made all of its free throws down the stretch and finished 20 of 22 from the foul line.Long Island used a 13-4 run to take its biggest lead, 15-10, with 14 minutes remaining in the first half.Logan didn't score until 6:10 remained in the first half. Her 3-point basket was part of a 9-0 run that gave Robert Morris a 26-19 lead. Robert Morris led 33-27 at halftime.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||29-64 (.453)||30-61 (.492)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-15 (.400)||6-12 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||11-14 (.786)||20-22 (.909)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||9 (0/0)|