FAIRFIELD, CONN. (January 6, 2014)—The Sacred Heart women's basketball team landed five three-pointers in the first five minutes en route to a 71-57 romp of Robert Morris Monday night in the William H. Pitt Center. Junior guard Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) posted her second consecutive 30-point game, pacing all players with 32 points to lead Jessica Mannetti's Pioneers to a 2-0 start in NEC play and 5-8 overall record.
For the first time in five years, Sacred Heart pulled down more than 50 rebounds, beating RMU on the boards 51-39. Washington accounted for a career-high 15 boards for her second straight double-double.
After spending two years on the sideline, Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y.) continues to improve every time she hits the court, setting a new career-high for the third straight game with 18 points against the Colonials.
Washington and Kimmel combined for a nine-point run as Robert Morris opened the game 0-for-6 forcing Head Coach Sal Buscaglia to call a timeout. The break proved fruitful as the Colonials got on the board with an Artemis Spanou jumper, but the Pioneers continued to expand their lead, taking their largest lead of the half , 23-7, with 12:27 left in the period on a layup by Lerae Ettienne (Kensington, Md.).
Robert Morris answered with an eight-point run, but could never catch Sacred Heart who went into halftime up 35-22.
RMU cut the deficit to six early in the second behind a 10-point run that began with a layup by Spanou, who led RMU with 22 points and 17 rebounds. After two layups by Kelly Hartwell and a couple of free throws by Ashley Ravelli, Washington snapped the run with a pair of free throws for the Pioneers.
A late eight-point run sealed the win for the Pioneers behind a three-pointer by Washington with 2:31 left, a Johanna Lopez lay-in, and perfect trips to the line for both Washington and Kimmel.
Sacred Heart takes their early undefeated Northeast Conference record into next weekend's road trip to Mount St. Mary's. The Pioneers will play the Mountaineers Saturday at 4:30 p.m.