Short-handed Robert Morris men rout Sacred Heart for 5th win in a row
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole tried to slow his team down Thursday at Sewall Center, but he couldn't stop them having their most efficient offensive performance of the season.
With only eight players dressed for its Northeast Conference matchup against Sacred Heart, Robert Morris (10-10, 5-0) rolled to a surprisingly easy 91-65 victory. It was the Colonials second-highest outpoint of the season.
The Colonials, which defeated Sacred Heart, 79-70, on Jan. 9, did about everything right. They had only five turnovers while forcing 17. They also had 14 assists, shot 30 of 56 from the field and had 10 steals. This is only the third time Robert Morris has started 5-0 in the conference (2005-06 and 1990-91). The Colonials have won five consecutive games after winning only two of their previous 10.
“Obviously, very happy we got the win and proud of our guys,” Toole said. “We played excellent as a team. I'm proud of the effort and the way they handled themselves on the floor.”
Missing from the bench were NEC Rookie of the Week Jeremiah Worthem, reserve guards Britton Lee and walk-ons Evan Grey and Shaire Tolson-Ford, who were suspended for a violation of university policy.
Toole would not elaborate.
“You probably know as much as I do,” Toole said. “We're trying to sort the rest of it out.”
Also senior center Mike McFadden and reserve guard Desjuan Newton have left the team. Toole said their status remains up in the air.
Senior guard Anthony Myers-Pate said the team didn't learn of the suspensions until warmups.
“We couldn't worry about what we couldn't control,” Myers-Pate said. “We stuck together as family, and we stepped up like men and got the job done.”
Each time the Colonials wanted to push the ball, Toole had them slow it down.
“I felt we could get stuff in transition, but at times, I felt we needed to shrink the game and still get a good shot,” Toole said. “We didn't need to rush things.”
All eight players scored for the Colonials. Junior forward Lucky Jones had 18 points and 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double.
“I didn't even know I had a double-double,” Jones said. “I just did what my coaches asked, rebound and make open shots.”
Five others had double figures. Karvel Anderson, who scored a career-high 36 in the first meeting, had 15, junior guard Charles Oliver 13, sophomore center Stephan Hawkins had a career-high 12, and Myers-Pate and freshman guard Kavon Stewart added 11 each. Louis Montes scored 23 points for Sacred Heart (4-16, 1-4).
“We shot the ball extremely well, and in the first half we didn't settle for jumpers and we really attacked the rim,” Toole said. “I thought our guys maintained their focus and were able to sustain their effort for the entire 40 minutes.”