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College Athletics Report: Buscaglia selected as NEC Coach of the Year

RMU COACH GARNERS HONOR — Robert Morris head coach Sal Bascaglia, formerly at Hilbert, won the NEC Coach of the Year Award.
Sal Buscaglia earned the Brenda Reilly Coach of the Year Award for the third time in his 11 seasons at the helm of the Robert Morris University women’s basketball program. This season marks a turnaround from a team that finished the 2012-13 season with seven wins and placed 10th in the NEC. Buscaglia led this year’s team to the regular season title with a 14-4 mark in league play and an 18-11 overall record. With a roster that features eight underclassmen and just four seniors, RMU posted a perfect mark 9 – 0, in league home games.

Buscaglia owns a 673 – 339 record in his 36th season of coaching, which also includes heading the Hilbert College women’s basketball team. The former Hamburg resident is 184 – 147 at RMU, including a 130 – 68 record in NEC games. Since he has taken over at RMU, the women’s basketball program has played in five national tournaments, won two Northeast Conference championships and earned playoff berths in nine seasons. Not only has he turned the program into a perennial NEC power, but a nationally competitive program.

One of his top recruits last year, Grand Island’s Cassie Ourlser was selected to the NEC All-Rookie Team, after immediately stepping into a starting role for the Colonials. She averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while leading the team with 46 blocks. She was the top rookie shot-blocker in the NEC and it ranks fifth-best at RMU. Her .483 shooting percentage was second on the team. Oursler had her best game in the regular season finale, scoring 17 points and pulling down 18 rebounds to earn her third double-double of the year against Mount St. Mary’s.

Owens, Stark First Team all-stars for Hilbert

Jerame Owens and Trevor Stark were named to First Team All-Allegheny Mountain College Conference, after leading the Hilbert College men’s basketball team, during the 2013 – 2014 season. For the second consecutive season, two athletes from Hilbert College have been voted by the conference’s coaches as a top five player.

Stark earned his first postseason honor this season after putting-up career numbers at Hilbert. He led the Hawks with 478 points (averaging 17.1) and more than doubled his closest teammate with 132 assists. The junior led the team in free throw percentage (82.5 percent), having made 85 of the 103 shots from the charity stripe, and in field goals attempted finishing the year with the highest percentage from the guard spot at 45.4.

Owens elevated his play in only his second season at Hilbert and returns to the postseason honors list after claiming a spot on the third team and the co-newcomer of the year designation in 2012 – 2013. As the only player on the squad to start all 28 games this season, Owens averaged 16.4 points per game (460 points). He completed the season averaging a double-double in points and rebounds, averaging 11.5 boards (321 rebounds total). Owens was nationally ranked in Division III stats all season and currently sits at seventh in total rebounds, eighth in rebounds per game and 17th in double-doubles. He also led the team in minutes played (30.9), field-goal percentage (.551), blocked shots (35) and steals (54) and was third on the team in assists (55).

Whitman named to All-AMCC First Team

Hilbert College senior Natalie Whitman was named to the First Team All-Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. During her second complete season at Hilbert, Whitman continued to impress the league coaches by leading the team (4 – 21) in total points, with 412, a 16.5 scoring average and paired that with an 11.9 rebounding average. She became the only player in the AMCC to average a double-double all season. In her final season she averaged 34 minutes per game, spending 208 more minutes on the court than her next closest teammate in the 25 games played. The forward from Lockport also led the team in field goals made/attempted and percentage and in free throws made/attempted.

Fredonia’s Warren again named All-SUNYAC

Jaimie Warren of Lake View was named All SUNYAC for the second time in her college career. The senior broke the 1,000-point plateau this season and averaged 14 points per game, good for eighth in the SUNYAC; 9.4 rebounds per game (second); 79.1 percent from the free-throw line (sixth); and was fourth in minutes played (33.2). She had eight double-doubles. Warren finishes her Fredonia State career with 1,122 points, sixth highest in program history, and 749 rebounds, fourth all-time.

McColgin earns CVC Player of Week

Junior Alex McColgin of Hamburg was named Continental Volleyball Conference Player of the Week, the organization announced March 3. The 6-foot-4, opposite side hitter helped lead the No. 2-ranked Juniata College men’s volleyball team to a 3-1 week. McColgin earned 50 kills during the week and hit .385 against No. 1 SUNY New Paltz. His double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs was instrumental in the Eagles win over Thiel College and he tied a season-high of three service aces in the win over No. 7 Stevens. The junior finished the week with 11 total blocks. He currently ranks nationally in four different categories including 34th in points per set.
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