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Future is Bright: Spanou, Ravelli and Mataly Earn NEC Honors

Monday, March 11, 2013
Pittsburgh -- Robert Morris University women’s basketball junior forward Artemis Spanou (Rhodes, Greece / Nea Smyrni) was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year and freshman guard Ashley Ravelli (Milan, Italy / The Hun School) is the NEC Rookie of the Year as announced by the league Thursday morning. Spanou was also named to the All-NEC First Team while Ravelli, along with freshman guard Lou Mataly (Toulouse, France / Lycee-Bellevue), earned spots on the NEC All-Rookie Team.
“With two freshmen earning all-rookie team honors – one despite being injured most of the year – and the player of the year returning next year, the future is very bright for women’s basketball at RMU,” said RMU head coach Sal Buscaglia. “Artemis certainly is very deserving of player of the year honors. Her statistics and play speak for themselves. Surrounded by freshmen and first-year starters due to our injuries, as well as being double and triple-teamed, Artemis was amazing.
“It is so exciting that two of the top freshmen in the league will be returning to our squad. Lou has months of rehabilitation in front of her, but I’m confident she’ll do everything she can to be back in time for next season. Prior to being injured, she was really coming into her own and developing an all-around game.
“As far as Ashley goes, there is no question she was the top freshman in the NEC. She became one of our go-to players and rightly so. To play at the level she did in her first year of Division I shows me the type of player she is going to be in the future.”
Spanou, now a three-time All-NEC selection, adds the Player of the Year trophy two years after earning NEC Rookie of the Year honors. The 6’2” junior leads the nation in both rebounding and double-doubles.
Spanou averaged 15.5 rebounds per contest this season, 1.3 more than the next closer player in the nation. She reached the 20-rebound mark five times during the year and set the RMU single-season record for rebounds with 451, shattering the previous record of 367 by 84.
Spanou had 26 double-doubles in 29 games, including a double-double in every conference game during a streak of 24 consecutive to end the season. In just her third year, the Greek-born forward already owns the RMU career record with 58 double-doubles.
The impressive numbers continue for Spanou who also led the NEC in scoring at 19.1 points per game. She eclipsed the 20-point mark 14 times this season en route to becoming the 18th member of RMU’s 1,000-point club. Rounding out her numbers, Spanou finished seventh among her league peers with 57 steals, an average of nearly two per game.
Spanou is the fourth player under Buscaglia, and the fourth Colonial in nine seasons, to earn NEC Player of the Year honors. Sugeiry Monsac (2004-05), Sade Logan (2007-08) and Angela Pace (2009-10) are the others.
Ravelli is the second Colonial in three seasons to earn the league’s Rookie of the Year Award following Spanou. She finished first among NEC freshman in scoring at 10.4 points per game. The Italian-born shooting guard knocked down 59 three-pointers this season, fourth in the league and most among rookies. Ravelli connected at a .349 clip (59-169) from long range. In addition, she was second in the league in minutes played (36.62 per game) and was third on the team in both assists (53) and steals (39).
Despite missing the final 10 games of the season, Mataly still finished with the ninth-most three-pointers in the league with 47. Prior to her season-ending injury, she was a front-runner along with Ravelli for the league’s Rookie of the Year honors. A native of France, Mataly finished her first year of collegiate basketball averaging 10.1 points per game while her .385 three-point percentage (47-122) was fifth in the league and first among NEC freshmen.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.