Chicago, Ill. – The Robert Morris Women’s Basketball team defeated the University of Saint Francis by the score of 62-59 in overtime on Friday, December 21st. The victory raised the Eagles’ record to 11-6 on the season.
The Eagles, who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll, took a 6-0 lead with 16:34 remaining in the first half as both teams struggled offensively early on. RMU stretched their lead to nine points several occasions but the Fighting Saints lived up to their named mascot and closed the gap to 26-24 at the half.
Saint Francis took their first lead of the game at 27-26 with 18:09 left in the game and led by as many three points three separate times. The Fighting Saints also led the entire second half until the Eagles tied the game at 39-39 with 8:35 remaining on a free throw shot from Mary Colon. It was a back and forth affair for the remainder of regulation and the Eagles held a 52-49 lead with two minutes to play but Saint Francis cut the lead to 52-51 with 1:39 to go. With 52 seconds to play, Uniqua Hampton was fouled and made one of two shots to make it a 53-51 game but once again the Fighting Saints scored on the other end to tie the game at 53-53 with 37 ticks on the clock. It looked like the Eagles would put the game away in the final second as Danisha Cole was fouled as she drove to the basket and went to the line only needing to make one shot for the victory. However, both of Cole’s charity shots rimmed in and out and the game headed to overtime.
Saint Francis took a 55-53 lead on a jumper by Debra Jenkins to open overtime but the Eagles answered back with baskets from Uniqua Hampton and Yolanda De La Torre to take a 57-55 lead with 2:35 left to go. Marissa Draper then tied the game back up at 57-57 but RMU went on a 4-0 run to take a 61-57 lead with 13 seconds to play. Saint Francis cut the lead to 61-59 with four seconds to go and then fouled Cole once again to send her to the line for two shots. This time around, Cole made one of two shots to give the Eagles the 62-59 overtime win. Both teams had poor nights shooting, as the Eagles shot 36.2% and Saint Francis was just 20-70 for 28.6%.
Junior guard Celeste Jones led the Eagles with 18 points and Uniqua Hampton had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Yolanda De La Torre had a strong game as well with another double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds in the victory.
Robert Morris takes on the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on Thursday, December 27th in the Saint Xavier Midwest Tournament at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 P.M. and fans can listen to the game live on the Eagle Sports Network.