Freshman Lisa Sanderson stepped up her game when her team needed it most Wednesday night.
Late in the second half, Sanderson hit two consecutive turn-around jump shots to help Robert Morris College-Springfield pull away for a 63-48 victory against the Stephens College basketball team at Silverthorne Arena.
“Lisa made some tremendous moves,” Robert Morris coach Brad Hansen said. “I thought that was the difference of the game. We spread everybody out, put her in the middle, took her defender one-on-one and she made the shots.”
Free throws also a big factor for Robert Morris in the second half. They made17-of-24 attempts which helped them extend their lead.
“We did a good job at the free throw stripe,” Hansen said. “Those free throws were huge. Anytime you go on the road, more than likely it’s going to be a close game. If you’re going to win that game, you’re going to have to make free throws.”
Lisa Sanderson and her twin sister Laurie led the Eagles, combining for 25 points.
“When they’re on the floor together, they know where they’re going to be,” Hansen said. “When you have twins on your team, when we run the offense, one sister knows the other one is going to cut. They make a huge difference. They’re just tremendous players.”
The Stars (4-17) were also outmatched by Robert Morris’ forward play.
Rachel Clines, 6-foot-4, and Cathy Von De Bur, 6-1, gave the rebounding edge to the Eagles.
“We tried to make sure that we pounded the defensive boards,” Stephens coach Dane Pavlovich said. “I think that was the area that let us down the most in the first half. When you give a good team two or three shots they’re going to hit.”
Robert Morris’ height also bothered Stephens center Pam Dodge all night.
“We have three pretty good players at the center position and we just kept switching all night on (Dodge),” Hansen said. “We gave her a lot of looks and never made her comfortable.”
Down the stretch, the Stars lost team captain Amy Burklund to a thumb injury.
“It was very big (not having Amy),” Pavlovich said. “Amy is our floor leader out there. We were maybe a little more limited than you want to be trying to make a comeback offensively in the last three or four minutes of the game.”
Even though Stephens could not pull out the win, Pavlovich was pleased with his team’s effort.
“These girls always play hard,” Pavlovich said. “They left it out on the floor.”
This was the second time Stephens played the Eagles this season. The Eagles won the first game 74-58.
Pavlovich felt his team played better the second time around.
This was the first game for Robert Morris (17-6) in 13 days, improving its road record to 14-3.